Greek farmers have caused traffic chaos to start the week, blocking major motorways and clogging up the main border crossing with Bulgaria to demand higher prices for their produce.
Rice, corn and cotton growers took part in the protests. Most are small-scale producers who need EU subsidies and guaranteed minimum prices to survive. Greece has one of the EU’s biggest farming sectors.
“This is the beginning of a new struggle, the beginning of a new aggressive policy against small farmers,” said farmer’s representative Petros Boutas.
The new Socialist Greek government is under intense pressure, and international scrutiny, to reduce its near 13 percent budget deficit, the biggest in the EU. Investors worry it will be blown off-course by protests. Last week it presented a three-year plan to slash welfare spending and public sector wages, and enact tax reforms.