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Widespread farming protest movement hits Greece

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A widespread farmering protest movement is occurring across Europe, with multiple countries including Greece seeing farmers uniting in protest of low wages.

The movement, sparked by worries about the impact of low salaries, strenuous regulation, and the entry of cheap imports, has seen farmers from Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania, and Greece join in demanding for action.

Hundreds of farmers from areas within Northern Greece met on Thursday at Thessaloniki’s annual agricultural fair with 300 tractors, to press demands for greater support of the farming sector.

Protesting farmers with their tractors take part in a rally outside an agricultural fair in the port city of Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. Photo Giannis Papanikos AP News.
Protesting farmers with their tractors take part in a rally outside an agricultural fair in the port city of Thessaloniki, Northern Greece on Thursday, February 1. Photo: Giannis Papanikos / AP News.
One of the angry farmers who converged on the agricultural fair in Thessaloniki on Thursday. Photo Sakis Mitrolidis AFP.
One of the angry farmers who converged on the agricultural fair in Thessaloniki on Thursday. Photo: Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP.

Under the European Commission’s proposal – introduced by France with the assistance of Greece – allows farmers the option to cultivate land that should have remained fallow.

According to Ekathimerini, the proposal also allows farmers to make a double profit because they would be able to sell the products grown on that property without being exempt from the scheduled aid.

Farmers will also be exempt from any inspections or fines irrespective of the protests.

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the farmers at a roadblock in Vonitsa on Wednesday and assured them that the government will do all possible to help the farming community.

“Support for the primary sector is a priority,” Mitsotakis said.

The farmers announced they will remain at Thessaloniki’s YMCA square until February 4.

Source: AP News and Ekathimerini

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