Farmers and stockbreeders from around Greece gathered in central Athens on Tuesday afternoon to rally and press for more state support and subsidies, with the “traditional” February mobilizations and roadblocks this year however punctuated by the massive flood damages in the Thessaly plain suffered last September.

The rally took place in front of Parliament in Syntagma Square, and in the wake of negotiations between police and protesting farmers’ groups over whether and how many tractors and related machinery would be allowed to enter the greater Athens area. Unionists also showed up to express their support and solidarity.

Protesting farmers and stockbreeders in Greece have demanded untaxed diesel fuel, subsidized electricity, a clampdown on agriculture imports presented as domestic products and even revisions of the EU’s standing Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Additionally, farmers want greater subsidies for fertilizers, animal feed and equipment.

Similar rallies over the past decades have been “magnets” for opposition politicians, and Tuesday was no exception, as leftist SYRIZA—party leader Stefanos Kasselakis, among others, attended the protest to express his support.

“I went to the farmers’ rally today to support their fair demands. Because a struggle takes place in society and with society. Farmers are struggling to survive,” the longtime US resident and former junior Golden Sachs trader said.


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