Dutch flowers blocked at Romanian border

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Romanian authorities halted imports of Dutch flowers and bulbs Saturday over fears that they might be contaminated by bacteria, officials said.

"All deliveries of flowers, bulbs and seeds coming from the Netherlands are being stopped at the border crossings and the National Phytosanitary Agency is carrying out checks because of suspicions that they might contain a bacteria," a spokeswoman for the Romanian tax administration, Sabina Zeeres, told AFP.

The director of the phytosanitary agency, Elena Leaota told Mediafax news agency that every load of flowers, bulbs and seeds from the Netherlands would be subjected to an inspection.

She said that the trucks would remain at the border crossings until the results of the samples collected will be known, in about two to three days.

She was not available to give more details on which type of bacteria is suspected to be in the loads and from where the alert came from.

Relationships between Romania and The Netherlands have become tense after the Dutch government announced on Friday it would again oppose bids by Romania and Bulgaria to enter Europe's visa-free Schengen zone.

© 2011 AFP

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