Thousands of farmers flooded Syntagma Square protesting against proposed security fund reforms in one of Greece’s largest demonstrations in years.
Farmers practically besieged the Greek Parliament where a harsh pension and tax draft multi-bill is to be tabled until the end of the month.
Farmers started arriving at Syntagma Square after 5:00 pm and by dusk the whole area was filled with people. Twenty farm tractors were allowed by police to participate in the rally in a symbolic act.
The guards at the Unknown Soldier Monument in front of the parliament left their post as farmers took over the place. At some point protesters set some olive and bay tree branches on fire while others lit up flares.
Farmers were waving Greek and Byzantium flags while others on their tractors were making the victory sign. Thousands of professionals and workers who were gathered at nearby Klafthmonos Square also joined the rally, all shouting slogans against the government and austerity measures.
Earlier in the day, farmers from Peloponnese clashed with police at Haidari, in the outskirts of Athens, and Cretan farmers did the same at the Ministry of Rural Development and Food in central Athens, However the demonstration has been very peaceful.
Determined to stay outside the parliament for 48 hours, some farmers have set up tents at Syntagma Square to camp out for the next two nights.
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