Protesting farmers turn out in force to block highways and press their demands

24 January 2017
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Greece’s farmers have once again taken their tractors and occupied the country’s highways in protest, with a number of tractor blockades set up around the country on Monday.

Farmers in Arta set up a roadblock on the Ionian Highway after a rally and tractor march through the city, while farmers from Tyrnavos arrived on the Larisa-Kozani national highway near Melouna at 13:30.

The head of the Larisa farming association federation Rizos Maroudas said that the farmers were launching a struggle to press for solutions to their problems and “avert new measures that the government is planning against farmers and livestock breeders.”

Based on decision taking by farming associations and protest committees, a second roadblock will be set up in Agia on Tuesday, while a large blockade by the federations in Larisa, Karditsa and Trikala is planned on Thursday.

Farmers were also mobilising in Aitoloakarnania in western Greece, with a protest held in Agrinio and announcing that they would decide on action to escalate their protests at a meeting of all farmers in Aitoloakarnania to be held over the next few days.

Support for the farmers’ mobilisation has come from the civil servants’ union federation ADEDY, which noted that farmers faced a tripling of their social insurance contributions and a 60 pct cut in their pensions by 2022, while their taxation rate was being doubled from 13 pct to 26 pct.

The Communist party-affiliated trade union group PAME also issued an announcement of support, urging workers and unions in every sector to support the farmers’ protests against the government’s attempts at “social automatism”.

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