More farmers joined during the second day of the massive demonstration in front of the Greek Parliament that started on Friday evening.
Farmers are protesting against the Greek government’s new draft bill on security funds and taxation. Their unions have blocked all national highways in 68 points all over Greece and on the border with Bulgaria.
More protesters from the road blocks of Imathia and Promachonas in northern Greece arrived in Athens as well to participate in the rally.
The farmers were joined by the public sector employees union ADEDY which has called on civil servants to participate in the massive protest. ADEDY demonstrators had gathered at nearby Klafthmonos Square and later moved to Syntagma Square.
Greek Communist Party (KKE) affiliated union PAME marched from Omonoia Square and joined their voices of protest with those of the farmers.
Many farmers had camped out overnight at Syntagma Square, eating, drinking and singing. Speaking to reporters they claimed that they will stay at the square as long as it takes.
Unionist Vangelis Boutas, who is the coordinator of all blockades across Greece, said on public broadcaster ERT that the farmers are determined to continue their protest actions until the government withdraws the unpopular bill.
At 5:00 pm the farmers were joined by protesting professionals and freelancers who are also burdened by the austerity measures the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition is proposing.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis called on farmers to sit at the negotiating table with the government.
“The government is not heeding to ultimatums,” he said on Mega television on Saturday. This was in response to the repeated statement by farmers that they won’t negotiate with the government unless the bill is withdrawn.
“They (farmers) should not miss this chance for a dialogue. They will regret it if they miss this opportunity,” the minister said.
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