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The blockade continues

24 January 2009 / 18:01:34  GRReporter
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Greek farmers are determined to continue the blockade of the highways around the country. They evaluate the offer of the government, which is 612 million Euros of financial help, as unclear and not enough. On the other hand, Kostas Karamanlis’ office claims that the offered money is the maximum possible, which the governmental budget can afford.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Transportation in Sofia gave a protest note to the Greek embassy because of the closing of the border stations Kulata-Promahon and Ilinden-Exohi. The note says that the farmer’s blockade is violating basic European Union rights like the ones for free movement of citizens and goods. There are huge lines at both sides of the borders and the drivers are angry from the long wait. The same is the situation with Macedonia, where the Evzoni and Doyran border stations are closed. The road to the border station Kipsi-Ipsala with Turkey is also closed.

Over 10 000 tractors are situated in 20 key places around the country and as a result transportation is very hard. Seven intersections of the Athens-Thessaloniki highway are blocked. Most of the exits of the second largest Athens-Thessaloniki highway remain closed. Traveling to an from Kavala, Drama, Xanti, Alexandroupolis, and Komotini is impossible. The farmer protests are continuing on Crete Island as well, where tractors have blocked the Hania-Retimno highway. Farmers from Peloponnese will come out on the roads from Monday and will “cut off” the peninsula from the rest of the country at Korinthos.

Meanwhile the court in Volos announced 11 farmers guilty for blocking the roads in 2005. Two of them are sentenced to pay fine, which they refused to do. The other nine were sentenced to eight months in prison with a possibility for a three year appeal and also to pay for the expenses of the case. They refused to do it, so according to the law, they should be taken to jail.

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