Greek farmers threaten to block highways in energy protest



LARISSA, Greece (AP) — Greek farmers, taking a page from the Canadian truckers’ protest playbook, say they are determined to shut down all major highways in the country to protest rising energy costs.

At a rally south of the town of Larissa in central Greece, they decided on Sunday to demand a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

As all of Europe faces rising energy costs, Greek farmers are calling for subsidies to reduce their fuel costs and an end to the cost of adjusting electricity prices, which reflects the evolution the price of oil and natural gas imports.

Greece has one of the highest fuel taxes in the European Union at 27, accounting for around two-thirds of the price.

“Diesel costs around 1.60 euros (per liter), while in other European countries it costs 70 cents,” Asterios Tsikritsis, president of the farmers’ union in the city of Tirnavos, told The Associated Press. north of Larissa.

Greek farmers have already been blocking an important road linking Larissa to the town of Kozani in the northwest for ten days. On Sunday, they spilled milk on the road as part of their protest.

“Right now it’s questionable whether we and our herds will survive,” said Argiris Bairachtaris, president of the Tirnavos Herders’ Union.


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