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Greek Farmers Threaten to Block Highways in Energy Protest

February 14, 2022

LARISSA — Greek farmers say they are determined to shut down all the country’s major highways to protest rising energy costs.

At a gathering south of the city of Larissa in central Greece, they decided Sunday to demand a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

As all of Europe is facing rising energy costs, Greek farmers are demanding subsidies to reduce their fuel costs and an end to the electricity price adjustment cost, which reflects changes in the price of oil and natural gas imports.

Tractors are parked along a motorway during a farmers’ protest, at Tyrnavos town, central Greece, on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Greece has among the highest taxes on fuel in the 27-nation European Union, accounting for about two-thirds of the price.

“Diesel costs about 1.60 euros (per liter), while in other European countries it is 70 cents,” Asterios Tsikritsis, president of the farmers’ union in the city of Tirnavos, north of Larissa, told The Associated Press.

Greek farmers have already been blocking a major road connecting Larissa to the city of Kozani to the northwest for about ten days. On Sunday, they spilled milk on the road as part of their protest.

“At present, it is questionable whether us and our flocks will survive,” said Argiris Bairachtaris, president of the Tirnavos animal farmers’ union.

 

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