NEWS

Farmers heading for highway destinations

Militant farmers protesting against low cotton subsidies will start lining up their tractors today at strategic points along highways in northern Greece, digging in for what could be a protracted confrontation with the government. In Macedonia, tractor-borne farmers will gather in village squares before heading for the main highway linking Thessaloniki with Athens, where they will park their vehicles beside the Nea Malgara toll posts. And farmers from Tyrnavos, near Larissa, will drive their tractors to a bridge on the stretch of the highway between Larissa and Elassona. On Friday, farmers will stage a protest rally at Thessaloniki’s White Tower, a few hundred yards away from where Premier Costas Simitis is to inaugurate the Thessaloniki International Fair. A similar protest will be held on Saturday. Afterward, farmers will decide whether to step up their campaign by blocking highways. This is the only way out that will ensure a permanent solution, in contrast to the practices of the past, when the State hypocritically and arbitrarily established maximum prices of products for a set period, which made prices skyrocket immediately after the temporary restrictions were lifted.