Farmers in Greece determined to block highways to protest rising energy costs

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Greek farmers, taking a page from the Canadian truckers’ protest handbook, say they are determined to shut down the country’s major highways to protest rising energy costs.

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

With all of Europe facing rising energy costs, Greek farmers are demanding subsidies to reduce their fuel costs and an end to the electricity price adjustment cost, which reflects changes in the price of oil and natural gas imports.

Greece has among the highest taxes on fuel in the 27-nation European Union, accounting for about two-thirds of the price.

“Diesel costs about 1.60 euros ($2.3 Cdn) [per litre], while in other European countries it is 70 cents ($1 Cdn),” Asterios Tsikritsis, president of the farmers’ union in the town of Tirnavos, north of Larissa, told The Associated Press.

Greek farmers have already been blocking a major road connecting Larissa to the city of Kozani to the northwest for about 10 days. On Sunday, they spilled milk on the road as part of their protest.

“At present, it is questionable whether us and our flocks will survive,” said Argiris Bairachtaris, president of the Tirnavos animal farmers’ union.

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