Farmers prepare for highway protests

The farmers of Thessaly, Greece’s prime agricultural area, and other regions have begun a series of protests in demand of support for cotton and tobacco prices. Despite the visits to the area by deputy agriculture ministers Evangelos Argyris and Fotis Hadzimichalis in recent days, farmers are considering dynamic actions, perhaps leading to the familiar sight of tractors taking to the highways of central Greece. Yesterday, farmers held protests at Platykambos near Larissa, in the Pharsala region, at Koutsohero near Trikala. In northern Greece they held a rally in the city of Serres, in which they decided to press the government to support tobacco prices. The protests continue today with rallies in Karditsa, central Greece, and Drama in the north. Others will follow on Friday in Pharsala and on Monday in Trikala. Under a program launched last year, some 2,000 people, mainly unemployed, were hired on eight-month contracts to guard schools. This was a great success, according to the chairman of the secondary school teachers’ union, Nikos Tsoulias.

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