Tractors Gather for Pan-Hellenic Rally in Athens

Tractors Gather for Pan-Hellenic Rally in Athens

Since yesterday afternoon, tractors from central and northern Greece have converged at the Castle of Boeotia to participate in a pan-Hellenic rally set for this afternoon in central Athens.

Descent to the Capital and Rally Details:

  • The descent begins this morning, aiming to reach Omonia Square by 5:30 PM and Syntagma Square by 6:30 PM via a motorized march.
  • Farmers, breeders, and beekeepers will travel to Athens in personal vehicles and buses, with estimates suggesting 60 buses from Thessaly and around 5,000 participants.
  • Farmers from Western Greece and the Peloponnese will meet in Megara before joining the central caravan.
  • The rally aims to highlight challenges faced by the primary sector and propose solutions for rising production costs.

Traffic Regulations:

  • Tractors will descend under police escort from both Boeotia Castle and Megara Attica.
  • Buses transporting farmers will park at the Olympic Stadium to minimize traffic disruption.
  • Temporary traffic stoppages are expected along the designated route, including Athens Avenue, Achilleos, Karaiskaki Square, Agios Konstantinou Street, Omonia Square, and Panepistimiou Street.
  • Vehicle traffic will be suspended on Amalias Avenue, Panepistimiou Street, Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, and all perpendicular streets.
  • Vasilissis Sofias will be partially closed from Parliament onwards, with traffic diverted to Sekeri Street.
  • Vehicles on Akadimias Street will only be allowed northbound.

Government Response:

  • The Prime Minister acknowledged the farmers' justified concerns but stated that additional concessions are unlikely considering previous measures, particularly regarding electricity subsidies.
  • He expects the rally to escalate existing mobilizations but believes things will return to normal afterward.
  • Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis highlighted discussions on permanently reinstating fuel subsidies for agriculture from 2025 onwards, following their cancellation in 2016.
  • Proposed measures include:
    • Zero VAT rate for agricultural gas oil (January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024) with refund procedures for eligible farmers.
    • Advance payments for a portion of eligible refunds.
    • Exempted and unalienable amount from the Special Consumption Tax refund.
  • Additionally, an 82 million euro refund of the Special Consumption Tax on agricultural oil was announced, with 40 million euros to be distributed by March and the remainder by year-end.

Source: RES-MPE

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