Protesting Farmers Clash with Police in Athens (video)

Protesting farmers from Crete on Wednesday clashed with riot police outside the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, with the latter resorting to extensive use of tear gas.

A group of Cretan farmers arrived at the ministry building in central Athens where they were joined by other farmers. A 40-member delegation asked to see Minister of Rural Development and Food Vangelis Apostolou or the secretary general. However, police had blocked the entrance with police buses and farmers were told that the officials were not available.

The farmers were infuriated and attacked the buses with rocks and walking sticks. Police repelled them using chemicals. Soon the two sides started fighting and farmers set trash containers on fire, while police replied with tear gas. Skirmishes spread out in surrounding streets. Two protesters were arrested.

About 1,500 farmers from Crete arrived in Athens to protest the low pricesthey sell their produce for, the high production costs, and increases in taxes and security contributions.