Greek Farmers Demonstrate With Tractor Parades

Over the past few days, Greek farmers have been engaging in protests, with demonstrations and tractor parades in Thessaloniki. Their primary demand is for more favorable conditions in the farming sector.

Farmers in Greece protest for EU support 

Thousands of farmers are currently protesting in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. The farmers are advocating for increased support and better conditions for the agricultural industry.

Farmers have come from several areas in northern Greece and Thessaly, such as Halkidiki, Epanomi, Serres, Pieria, Imathia and Kalambaka, the town near Meteora. They intend to remain in Thessaloniki until February 4, continuing their peaceful protest.

The farmers’ demonstrations have been timed to coincide with the Agrotica Exhibition, the largest Agricultural Fair in Greece. Agrotica attracts thousands of visitors, who are involved in all aspects of farming and business. 

Greek farmers protest with tractor parades

In the last couple of days, farmers have paraded their tractors around the city. Throughout the day, the tractors remain parked at the designated Agrotica Fair area, allowing uninterrupted visitor access.

Moreover, groups of farmers have set up temporary blockades in several roads and towns in north Greece, such as Kastoria and Naoussa. In the past, such practices have greatly affected traffic on national roads.

More people in Greece join the farmer protests  

Other groups of people have joined the demonstrations, in support of the farmers. Among others, these include a group of beekeepers from the region of Macedonia, and fishermen from the nearby town of Nea Michaniona. 

University students, who have been protesting against privatized Universities in Greece, have also joined forces with the farmers. 

Earlier today, as a symbolic gesture, farmers from Thessaly threw spoiled apples onto the road. One producer from Thessaly explained that their produce, mainly apples and chestnuts, are being ruined because of various diseases. 

Farmers will continue to protest, claiming that policies prevent local products from being available due to their higher costs than those produced thousands of kilometers away. At the same time, certain relief measures, such as the agricultural oil subsidy, are being removed.

Protests in Greece

“There is no future without farmers”

Farmers protests in Europe

Greek farmers are not the only ones protesting. Farmers’ protests are escalating all over Europe, with demonstrations in France, Belgium and other countries. 

EU farmers are urging for a decrease in the substantial gap between the price at which farmers sell their produce to traders, and the price paid by consumers at the supermarket.

Additional concerns for many EU farmers revolve around taxes on Ukrainian products, diesel prices, and the EU’s environmental regulations.

Greek farmers encounter additional challenges, related to the country’s unique circumstances. Despite government assurance, many of them are still awaiting compensation for damages incurred by natural disasters in September 2023.

Farmers’ demands in Greece

Greek farmers consistently emphasize that the provided compensations fall short of covering even their running costs. Among others, they are asking for the following:

  • Complete revision of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in a real productive direction
  • Compensation for income loss resulting from decreased production due to disasters and diseases
  • Construction of infrastructure projects to safeguard against weather phenomena in the future
  • Support for production costs
  • Auctioning goods regionally
  • Monitoring the profit margins of seed companies
  • Agricultural product processing in line with the national list
  • Inspection of every cargo import
  • Simplifying the process of land plot exchange among producers, with the aim of increasing their size and achieving a reduction in production costs.

Protests in Thessaloniki Greece

Land in Greece among the most expensive in Europe

To add to the above, farm land in Greece is very expensive. According to Eurostat data, Greece presently ranks as the third most expensive country in the EU for leasing arable land, and the seventh most expensive for land acquisition.

As a result, Greek farmers are practically excluded from the opportunity to access additional land. At the same time, the average income in Greece is among the lowest in the EU.

The costs of staple foods that are popular in Greece, such as olive oil and feta cheese, have skyrocketed over the past few years, contributing to increased living expenses. And while the Greek economy is on the rise, many residents are struggling to keep pace with the inflation in everyday necessities.

Vanessa from Real Greek ExperiencesHi! I’m Vanessa from Athens and I share news and travel guides about Greece on my blog. Follow my FB page for more Greek inspiration!


1 thought on “Greek Farmers Demonstrate With Tractor Parades”

  1. Hi Vanessa, thanks so much for this news about the Farmers’ protests.
    I like reading your post every Sunday.
    Have a nice week ! 🙏


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