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Protesting Greek farmers head to Athens in tractor convoys seeking financial help from government

ATHENS, Greece — Farmers from around Greece were traveling to Athens in tractor convoys on Tuesday to demand more financial concessions from the government as the cost of living increases.

Some 200 tractors formed the main convoy in central Greece heading southward, while thousands of protesters were expected to travel to the capital on chartered buses and ferries.

The Greek farmers — whose demands are similar to those at widespread farmer protests elsewhere in Europe — have spent weeks staging sporadic blockades along highways and in rural towns.

With horns blaring, the slow-moving main convoy headed out from the central Greek town of Kastro, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Athens, with Greek flags, black flags and protest banners fastened to the tractors. One banner read: “Without us you don’t eat.”

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in a television interview late Monday, said he could not support additional tax breaks and concessions but insisted his center-right government wanted to continue discussions with the protesters.

The government took back a threat to block the protest and police assisted with efforts to avoid disruptions to highway traffic.

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