A traffic police van warily coasts…

A traffic police van warily coasts past tractors stopped on a northern Greek roadside yesterday, amid fears of a repeat of the 1996 road blockages. Cotton and tobacco farmers seeking higher crop subsidies staged protests all over the country. Although 450 tractors gathered in the Vale of Tempe, farmers did not block the crucial pass, but could do so today. Tractors were driven onto roadsides in Kilkis, Drama, Lamia, Patras and Volos, while farmers outside Thessaloniki and Serres blocked local roads for a short time before desisting. Greece recognizes only one issue, the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Aegean, as a legitimate dispute with Turkey, saying that it would never discuss in bilateral talks Turkey’s claims on certain islands and Greek airspace, so as not to legitimize them. Turkey’s claims, according to the longstanding Greek position, must be brought before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

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