Tension is high on the agenda and escalation is highly possible as protesting farmers threaten to camp outside the Greek Parliament together with their tractors. The farmers plan to come to Athens on Friday and raise their voices protest against the planned social security contributions and tax hikes.
Despite the repeated invitations by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to join the dialogue, the farmers demand the withdrawal of the pensions reform draft first but also a long list of tax exemptions and even debts write-off . On Wednesday they rejected Tsipras’ latest call for a dialogue and said that they will camp in Athens for indefinite time thus starting from Friday.
Something like the old cowboys’ slogan “first shoot, then ask questions.”
The Prime Minister does not intend though to allow them flood downtown Athens with their tractors, the Greek Police had been ordered to stop tractors before entering the city.
However there is option to allow only just a couple of tractors for the symbolism of the protest.
Farmers, breeders and many other professionals in the food chain production have been protesting the Pensions Reform since more than two weeks. 68 blockades have been set up in the country’s main-roads, highways and customs spots.
Two days ago, a Bulgarian truck driver decided to break the customs blockade set by farmers and drove through triggering panic among protesters and other truck drivers who had parked their vehicles in long queues reaching several kilometers.
PS in their latest list of demands, the farmers want tax-free for annual income of 12,000 euro. that’s something. When they started their protests they wanted 30,000 tax-free.