Farmers protest austerity measures in Greece
Greek farmers have blocked roads in protest to new government austerity measureas and hikes in gas prices and taxes.
Hundreds of tractors were lined up on a highway in the municipal unit of Nikaia on Thursday to protest the government’s tax and gas prices as well as reforms in social security contributions.
Farmers from Nikaia and Farsala regions, who had gathered for the protest, caused major traffic disruptions in the area, forcing police to divert all passing vehicles to alternative routes.
Some of the farmers said they would continue to protest on Friday.
On Wednesday, farmers had staged another protest by blocking the road linking the cities of Serres and Thessaloniki for nearly an hour.
A wave of protests started in Greece last January when the parliament approved a new round of economic reforms affecting taxes and pension plans and enforcing a series of public sector cutbacks.
Athens is in negotiation with international creditors to get a fresh loan to keep its crisis-hit economy from sinking. It has had to adopt eye-watering austerity measures to meet economic milestones set by the creditors and be able to pay back the loans it receives.
Greece’s debt-laden economy has been kept afloat in the past years by tens of billions of euros in bailout loans from international creditors in the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).