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Greek farmers' austerity protests escalate

 

22 February 2016

Protesting planned pension cuts, Greek farmers have blocked key roads and border crossings with their tractors for weeks.

Farmers have blocked the bridge on the Corinth canal with tractors for the past 18 days. Only ambulances and pregnant women are granted passage; trucks piled high with goods must turn back or take the rural route. On Tuesday, tractors also closed off the four-lane highway at Tempi Valley, near Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city.

The protest was taken to Athens last week with tens of thousands of farmers rallying in front of Parliament House at Sintagma square.

The farmers plan to continue their protest until the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras deals with their demands, which include canceling planned pension cuts, abolishing a new tax on wine and tsipouro brandy, and granting tax-free diesel for farmers - as well as a 12,000-euro ($13,400) tax exemption per year.

 

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