Protesting cotton farmers in Thessaly lined up their tractors on Saturday on a roadside near the town of Almyros, in the Volos region in Central Greece, as Prime Minister Costas Simitis toured the area. They went no further. But today, tractor-driving cotton farmers seeking better crop subsidies will gather in the Vale of Tempe. They will decide on the spot whether to proceed to block the pass, thereby cutting Greece in half. The government has said it will stop such a move. «Experience has shown that when Turkey faces pressure or believes that various disputes it has with Greece are entering a crucial phase, it creates artificial tensions,» said Papantoniou, citing increased incursions of Turkish fighter planes into Greek air space, hawkish statements by Turkish premier Bulent Ecevit and renewed claims involving the countries’ joint participation in NATO exercises.