Greek farmers block highway as anti-austerity protests intensify

THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Farmers in northern Greece blocked traffic on the country's main highway Tuesday, intensifying nationwide protests against austerity measures demanded by bailout lenders.

See Full Article

Protest organizers said a tractor blockade on the highway linking Athens to Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, would be in effect indefinitely unless the government withdrew proposals for tax hikes and an overhaul of the pension system.

Blockades on secondary roads, used by drivers to bypass the highway, were also being stepped up.

"They are asking farmers to pay higher taxes even if they have no income ... It's impossible," said Yiannis Zacharias, a blockade organizer in northern Greece.

The new austerity measures have prompted broad protests against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' year-old leftwing government, with strikes from a range of professional groups, from lawyers to ferry workers.

Greece is expected to slip back into a mild recession in 2016, while the global sell-off in financial markets saw the value of shares on the Athens Stock Exchange sink Monday to their worst level since 1989. The exchange's main index was down a further 2.7 per cent in early afternoon trading Tuesday.

On Friday, farmers from across Greece are planning to travel to Athens, with plans to stage a three-day protest outside parliament.

Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili said Tsipras was willing to meet farming associations but insisted the "the negotiations cannot start from zero."

Farmers launched the tractor blockades on Jan. 20, and have since stepped up their protests along the nation's highways and at border crossings, causing long delays for drivers and truckers.

Police said Tuesday Bulgarian truck drivers used their vehicles to smash a customs boom barrier at the Greek border with Bulgaria. Four trucks crossed into Bulgaria, while a fifth truck was stopped and the driver arrested on public disturbance charges.

The conservative main opposition party called on the government to withdraw the pension overhaul plan to avoid "social upheaval."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Italian PM 'guarantees' savers' accounts in 2 troubled banks

    Economic CTV News
    ROME -- Italy's premier says holders of accounts in two troubled Italian banks will have their savings guaranteed despite insolvency proceedings. Premier Paolo Gentiloni was referring to Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza, each struggling with unpaid loans. Source
  • Forget the poop scooping: who will pay the bills for your pet?

    Economic CBC News
    The scene is so common, it's cliché: Your adorable child looks longingly into your eyes, begging for a pet. You somehow navigate the emotionally fraught minefield of cat vs. dog. Then it's time to talk chores. Source
  • 'Eventually, many will run out': How an LCBO strike could impact restaurants and bars

    Economic CBC News
    A long drawn-out strike by liquor store workers could have a significant impact on Ontario's restaurants, wine importers, bars and consumers — but it may offer a boon to some local wineries. "Eventually, many [restaurants and bars] will run out, if not all, if it goes into a month, two months," said Tony Elenis, president and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association. Source
  • Ivanka Trump ordered to testify in dispute with shoe company

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company's shoe designs, a judge said Friday. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest rejected a request by the senior White House aide's lawyers that she be blocked from submitting to a deposition in the trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Aquazzura Italia SRL against her and her company IT Collection LLC. Source
  • Cooling measures already affecting hot Toronto housing market: survey

    Economic CTV News
    The recent intervention by the Ontario government to cool the Toronto-area’s hot housing market is already having an impact on sellers and buyers plans for the year, according to a new poll. At the end of April, Ont. Source
  • Why is the American teen summer job disappearing? [Video]

    Economic Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie “The Shining,” where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheque. He was a busboy. The job didn’t pay much. But Doyle quickly learned lessons that served him for years as he rose to become the CEO of Domino’s, the pizza delivery giant: Source
  • Waiting for a Canadian housing crash? Warren Buffet bets against it buying 38% stake in Home Capital Group Inc.

    Economic Toronto Sun
    Warren Buffett's deal to back Home Capital Group Inc. does more than support a struggling mortgage lender -- it's a vote of confidence for a housing market that everyone from investors to global ratings companies say is a bubble ready to burst. Source
  • CIBC looks to generate quarter of earnings from U.S.

    Economic CBC News
    CIBC closed its acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp on Friday, securing its foothold in the U.S. where CEO Victor Dodig said the bank hopes to one day generate a quarter of its earnings. The Canadian bank now earns roughly five per cent of its profits in the U.S. Source
  • CIBC closes acquisition of U.S.-based PrivateBancorp

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- CIBC closed its acquisition of Chicago-based PrivateBancorp on Friday, securing its foothold in the U.S. where CEO Victor Dodig said the bank hopes to one day generate a quarter of its earnings. The Canadian bank (TSX:CM) now earns roughly five per cent of its profits in the U.S. Source
  • Consumer demand for debt as high as it has ever been, Equifax says

    Economic CBC News
    Canadians' appetite for debt is as insatiable as ever, a new report from credit monitoring firm Equifax says. Equifax calculates that Canadian consumers owed $1.729 trillion at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 6.9 per cent in a year. Source