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Society

Protesting Greek Farmers Blocked National Highway Near Thessaloniki

February 12, 2024

THESSALONIKI – Ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Feb. 13, farmers who want additional state aid used tractors to block the national highway connecting the northern port city of Thessaloniki to Moudania.

They said their protests will continue to escalate although the government called for them not to block roads as representatives of the farmers are due to present grievances to Mitsotakis in a meeting at Maximos Mansion.

The government has signaled it is willing to make some concessions because of an accelerating economy but said money is also needed for other social programs and that there are fiscal constraints, said state broadcaster ERT.

Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis told SKAI TV there could be reinstatement of an earlier reinstatement of the special consumption tax on agricultural diesel, amounting to 82 million euros ($88.36 million.)

Deputy Prime Minister Thanasis Kontogeorgis told Ethnos.gr that, “The country’s economy is improving, which is why we can provide this package of measures to support farmers.”

But, he added, “resources are not limitless, and the government’s goal is the fair distribution of resources to ensure social cohesion.” Farmers said they suffered huge losses due to summer wildfires and floods that wiped out a big chunk of the country’s agricultural heartland in Thessaly and weren’t satisfied with the amount of subsidies provided so far.

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