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Some 10,000 Greek farmers demonstrated in Athens’ Syntagma Square in front of the Parliament, with 200 tractors, reported Kathimerini today. As with farmers in other parts of Europe, they were demanding relief from high fuel prices, and from the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, which is putting them out of business. Farmers arrived in tractors, buses, pickup trucks, and cars, from all over Greece. They held banners reading: “No Farmers, No Food, No Future” and “Livestock Farming Died Today.”

While the government and representatives of the ruling New Democracy party told the farmers that they will not be offered more than the already unacceptable concessions the government had offered, opposition parties did turn to the rally to show support. These included leading members of Syriza, the main opposition party, including its leader Stefanos Kasselakis, and two Syriza MPs, and 15 MPs from the opposition PASOK party.

Kasselakis stated: “Farmers are struggling to survive. Consumers are struggling to survive. There is a cartel in the middle, intermediaries, and oligopolies. The state should intervene immediately. No more of this mockery. The tax on agricultural fuel should be permanently abolished. There should be a cap on agricultural electricity. There should be at least a regulation of debts so these people do not lose their land. Simple things should be done immediately.”

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