Protesting Greek Farmers Said to Be Abandoning Roadblocks
Greek farmers protesting at pension and tax reforms proposed by the government have started to abandon the roadblocks they had manned for more than a month, Kathimerini reported in its online English-language edition on Saturday.
Thousands of protesting farmers drove home their tractors, which they had used to close roads across the country as well as crossings at the borders with Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia, after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pledged some improvements to the planned reforms in talks with representatives of the farmers earlier this week, the Greek newspaper said.
Kathimerini quoted the head of a roadblock on the Egnatia Highway in northern Greece as saying that the farmers were disappointed by the results of their talks with Tsipras and would remain on standby.
On Monday,Tsipras announced a planned package of measures to support the agricultural sector in a bid to convince the farmers to reopen the roads but ruled out yielding to their main demand to axe the pension reforms bill and tax changes requested by Greece's international creditors in exchange for a third bailout.
Greece’s Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani ruled on Wednesday that the protesting farmers should lift the roadblocks set up at key road junctions in the country and at its borders. The protest action of the farmers has severely disrupted traffic at the two main crossings on the country’s border with Bulgaria with long lines of vehicles stranded for days on both sides of the border.
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