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On the eve of Athens tractor protest, Greek prime minister rules out more concessions to farmers

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece‘s prime minister on Monday ruled out any further concessions to protesting farmers, on the eve of their planned rally that will see tractors converging on central Athens.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis voiced hope that Tuesday’s protest in the capital would mark the end of weeks of unrest among Greek farmers who, like others in Europe, are angry at high production costs.

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“We don’t have any further (concessions) to offer,” he told private Star television. “I think farmers recognize that.”

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis supporters in Athens, Greece, May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Following a meeting with Mitsotakis last week, representatives of farmers’ associations nationwide rejected the government’s proposed relief measures as insufficient.

As well as driving tractors to the rally outside parliament Tuesday, they are planning to blockade major roads, harbors and border road crossings.

Greek police warned Monday that the farmers’ Athens rally would force the closure of much of the city to traffic and disrupt public transport.

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Despite sporadic blockages of mostly secondary roads in recent weeks, so far farmers have refrained from causing major transportation disruptions.

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