Larisa.- Farmers in Greece, especially in the north, continued to man roadblocks in protest on Saturday, entering the sixth consecutive day of their mobilization to demand measures supporting their income, which has been slashed by falling wholesale prices for food.
They warned that they would remain in position until the government provided further clarifications regarding the 500-million-euros package for farmers it announced on Thursday. There will also be meetings of farmers associations and coordinating bodies during the day to decide on their position from here on.
On Saturday afternoon, farmers in northern Greece had set up a one-hour road block with their tractors at the ‘Prasina Fanaria’ intersection leading to Thessaloniki’s ‘Macedonia’ airport, while they plan to close the road again at around 20:00 in the evening.
At the Halkidona intersection, more farmers were maintaining an indefinte blockade while their colleagues in Malgara were planning to close off the road. Also closed to traffic was the Giannitsa-Thessaloniki road.
The customs post at the border crossing to Bulgaria in Promahonas was closed down again at 13:30 after farmers had temporarily opened the road to let trucks and heavy goods vehicles through for about two hours, as a gesture of good will.
Also closed from the afternoon are the border crossings of Exohi in Drama, Kipoi and Ormenio in Evros and those at Evzones and Doirani.
At the Strymoniko intersection in Serres, farmers set fire to tobacco and cereal crops and continued a blockade at Kerdylia, Serres.
There was also a two-hour road block on the Kozani-Larisa national highway at the Servion Bridge that opened at around 14:00 and at the 24th kilometre of the Kozani-Florina road.
Further down, tractor road blocks are still going strong at Tempi, Mikrothebes and Nikaia, Larisa where farmers had also blocked access to the alternative routes via Tsaritsani in Elassonas and Gerakari, Agia. The second was due to reopen at around 3:30 but close again for two hours at night.
After an appeal by the Greek Railways Organisation (OSE) to farmers warning of possible accidents, farmers in Tempi decided not to proceed with a planned blockade of a railway line going through their area.
In an announcement, OSE had warned of the high risk of blockades on those lines powered by electricity, especially on the Eidomeni-Thessaloniki line, Thessaloniki-Larisa, Larisa-Domokos and Tithorea-Oinoi.
“Any casual approach to the high-voltage 25,000 KW power cables by people or farm machinery could cause a power discharge and thus a lethal accident,” the rail company said. It further pointed out that the high-speed trains reached speeds of more than 200 km per hour and needed more than two kilometres in order to come to a stop.