Kardzhali. After almost seventy years, today the path to the Aegean Sea was opened with the inauguration of the Makaza-Nymfaia border crossing. The ribbon was cut by the governors of Kardzhali Bisser Nikolov and East Macedonia and Thrace region leader Aristidis Yanakidis.
The opening of the border crossing has been the dream of Bulgarians for decades and it creates a passage of both national and and European importance. The new connection will boost tourism, trade and economy not only in the Kardzhali region and the neighboring Greek regions, but for both countries, Kardzhali's governor noted.
During the ceremony it was recalled that the project started in 1995, when the foreign ministers of Greece and Bulgaria, Georgi Pirinski and Karolos Papoulias, signed a bilateral agreement for the opening of three points : Makaza Nymfaia, Eledje - Ehinos and Ilinden Eksohi.
The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people on both sides of the border. Shortly after 12 am the barrier was lifted and the first passenger, a 85 -year-old man passed. Peter Chakarov, the exited old man from Kardzhali is a native of Aleksandropolus and he said he passed the border in 1944 at the age of 15 for the last time.
There was an almost three- kilometers line of cars waiting to cross through Makaza. The route is part of the Trans-European Transport Corridor 9 and provides the most direct access from Central Bulgaria to the shores of the Aegean Sea. As for now, passenger vehicles comprising no more than 8 seats and lorries weighing up to 3.5 tons are entitled to use the new border crossing.