Florina residents blockade border crossing

Residents of Florina in northern Greece on Tuesday began a two-day protest against a rise in the cost of heating oil by blockading the customs office at the Nikis border crossing and shutting down retail shops in the city of Florina.

Members of the local union of gas station owners said they would continue their blockade of the customs office until 2 p.m., allowing traffic through every hour.

Meanwhile, protesters shut down the Public Power Corporation station at Melitis for a few hours and thousands of Florina residents held a rally at the city’s central square.

Local officials are demanding that cities like Florina and Kastoria, which experience harsh winters, be exempt from a recent government decision to level the tax for heating oil with that of diesel in a bid to beat tax evasion, a move which has resulted in fuel prices rising by up to 40 percent.

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