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Greek farmers' protest brings Athens to a standstill

Evangelo Sipsas in Athens

Farmers protested through the day and night in Athens. /CGTN
Farmers protested through the day and night in Athens. /CGTN

Farmers protested through the day and night in Athens. /CGTN

Farmers demanding financial help brought Athens to a standstill on Tuesday. Tens of thousands, many driving tractors, gathered in front of the Greek parliament to show their displeasure over the government's recent announcements that it has no more to give to those working in the farming sector.

The farmers are also complaining about foreign competition and government policies to lower farm prices, and demanding 100 percent reimbursement for lost crops from last September's floods - something they say the government has failed to provide.

"We have no protection," a farmer from central Greece told CGTN. "And those that were affected by Storm Daniel will receive some money - but is it enough for them to live? 

"Their farms have become mud and are destroyed. They cannot grow anything. Their lives are pretty much done. They will have to change jobs."


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‌Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last week offered some relief to farmers by offering to lower power bills for the next 10 years. It was a move intended to address their concerns and convince them to stop their demonstrations.

However, it wasn't enough to prevent them from mobilizing in the Greek capital. The main opposition party leader joined the protest and blamed the government for abandoning the farmers.

"The farmers of this country have been left woefully behind and they have every right to try to survive and to support the primary sector of the economy," Syriza party leader Stefanos Kasselakis told CGTN. We are here for them, and we will not apologize for them."

‌Farmers here say they feel abandoned. High inflation and cheap imports from outside of the EU have been squeezing them, add to that no compensation from last September's floods. So it's no surprise that resentment against the government is growing.

Greek farmers' protest brings Athens to a standstill

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