Police fires teargas to Greek farmers

Greek police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of farmers who arrived at the port of Piraeus protesting low produce prices and scuffles broke out, police authorities said on Monday.

Police fires teargas to Greek farmers

Television showed police in full riot gear firing teargas and spraying chemicals at about 500 farmers, who had arrived at the country's biggest port from the island of Crete in the latest protest to hit Greece's conservative government.

Police tried to hold back the protesters, who were trying to drive their tractors and other farm vehicles to the Agriculture Ministry in Athens, police officials said.

Farmers, brandishing sticks and black flags, threw tomatoes and potatoes at police, who set up blockades at the exit of the port. Police said two farmers were slightly injured.

"We came with our tractors but police would not let us leave the port," said Giorgos Goniotakis, a farmers' representative. "We want the same support measures given to other farmers to apply to us in Crete as well. We are staying here."

Protesting Greek farmers had caused 11 days of travel chaos by setting roadblocks across the country but most gave up last week after the government pledged 500 million euros in aid. Blockades continue on-and-off at the border with Bulgaria.

The farmers' protest added to the woes of the conservative government, which is clinging to a one-seat majority in parliament and faces a decline in opinion polls.

December riots, the worst in decades, sparked by the police shooting of a youth but fuelled by discontent about economic policies, forced a cabinet reshuffle.


Reuters

Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2009, 16:22
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