Greek Farmers Plan Protests in Athens as Roadblock Campaign Escalates

20240217 083957

Farmers' Demands for Cost Reductions and Compensation Remain Unmet

ATHENS, Greece -- Greek farmers, frustrated by high production costs, have announced plans to intensify their roadblock campaign and take their protests to Athens after rejecting concessions offered by the government.

Following a nationwide meeting of farmer unionists near the town of Larissa, representatives announced their intention to drive their tractors to the capital for a rally next Tuesday. In addition, farmers from other parts of Greece will block highways, harbors, and border crossings on that day, according to union organizer Rizos Maroudas.

Speaking after the meeting, Maroudas emphasized that the protest was not only a matter for farmers but should be seen as being in the best interest of all Athenians. He argued that reducing production costs would enable families to access quality and affordable produce.

Similar protests have recently rippled across Europe as farmers voiced their grievances over inflation, foreign competition, and the costs of battling climate change.

Earlier this week, Maroudas and other unionists met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Athens, during which the prime minister proposed reducing farmers' energy costs. However, the farmers deemed the government's offer insufficient in addressing their demands. They are calling for additional measures such as tax cuts on fuel and faster compensation for lost produce, particularly for farms in the Thessaly region devastated by floods last year.

"Our core demands have not been met, and by continuing and escalating our protests, we believe there is a chance that the government will finally address our concerns," Maroudas said.

He further revealed that farmers plan to block roads across the country leading up to the Athens rally. While protesters have so far limited their demonstrations to brief blockades of local roads, authorities have prevented disruptions to key highways.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024