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Greek farmers stage protest outside agricultural ministry over rising costs

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By AP
Greek farmers are protesting higher production costs, pressing the center-right government to reduce electricity bills and fuel tax and increase subsidies for animal farms.
Greek farmers are protesting higher production costs, pressing the center-right government to reduce electricity bills and fuel tax and increase subsidies for animal farms.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

Hundreds of protesting farmers blocked traffic in central Athens to demand additional concessions from the Greek government to cope with high energy costs.

The protesters -- some in tractors, others holding up vegetables and black flags -- gathered outside the Agriculture Ministry in the Greek capital on Friday.

The Greek government had announced €1.1 billion in financial support earlier this week to help struggling businesses and lower-income households.

But farming associations say they were largely left out of the package.

Huge rises in energy costs have hit Greek farmers, who have passed many of the increases on to food prices.

Inflation reached 6.3% in February and an average of 5.9% among countries that share the euro currency.