Serres farmers open border as talks begin

Farmers at the Promachonas crossing on the Bulgarian border yesterday lifted a two-week blockade in an «act of good will» as unionists met Agriculture Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis in Athens. The Serres farmers, who withdrew their tractors from the crossing late on Thursday, said they would give the minister a chance to make good on promises to deliver compensation for damaged crops. The producers are demanding compensation of the same size as that given to their counterparts in Larissa, arguing that they have suffered serious losses over the past two years. Earlier yesterday, defiant Serres farmers had boarded their tractors and set off for Thessaloniki to press their demands. They returned following the intervention of Deputy Agriculture Minister Costas Kiltidis, who set up the meeting between unionists and the minister in Athens.