Protesting farmers to block roads again

Farmers pushing the government for tax breaks, compensation and subsidies have threatened to stage blockades at major road junctions in central and northern Greece from Monday.

The farmers have said they aim to set up a total of 14 road blocks stretching from Mikrothives in central Greece to Promachonas, a village at the Bulgarian border.

The protesters are demanding tax-free gasoline, immediate compensation from the state for weather-induced damage to cotton plantations, the completion of regional irrigation works and a reduction in the price of livestock fodder.

Representatives of farmers’ cooperatives from across the country are to converge in Thessaloniki over the weekend for talks with Agricultural Development and Food Minister Costas Skandalidis.

The minister on Friday described the farmers’ demand for cheaper petrol as «fair and justifiable» and said he had submitted a request on their behalf to the Economy Ministry. As for the compensation for damaged crops, Skandalidis said it had been delayed but would be paid.

This time last year, farmers caused transport and trade havoc after blocking road junctions for 11 days in a row in protests over European Union subsidies.

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