*FARMERS PLAN TO BLOCKADE ATHENS FOR TWO DAYS AT LEAST
*EXPAND TRACTOR BLOCKS TO ROADS AND BORDER CROSSINGS TO RAILWAYS
*MACEDONIA AND NORTHERN EUROPE ACCELERATE PLAN TO CLOSE BORDERS
*RIOTS IN THESSALONIKI AND KOS OVER MIGRANT PLANS
*GREECE FACING EXCLUSION FROM SCHENGEN, EURO ZONE AND UNPRECEDENTED INFLUX OF MIGRANTS IN THE PERFECT STORM
Greece’s farmers plan a blockade of at least two-days of Athens city centre as part of their protests against a new round of taxes and social security contribution hiles.
The farmers plan to drive to Athens with thousands of tractors and park them all over the centre to bring the city centre to a halt. They aim to establish a camp in Syntagma square outside of parliament.
Farmers are also expanding their motorway and border blockade to parts of the train service.
The farmer’s blockade of Athens will add to the pressure of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to resign.
In addition to facing exclusion from the eurozone, Greece is also facing exclusion from the Schengen zone as the Balkans countries and Austria strengthen and expand border fences and barriers to stem an unprecedented influx of migrants.
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has begun to build a second wire fence on its border with Greece.
The EU is considering sending police and troops to protect the Macedonian border.
Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl Leitner has said the quota of migrants allowed into the country will be decided on a day by day basis.
Austria announced plans to build barriers and fortifications across the country’s entire southern border, also with Italy.
Meanwhile, there is no sign that Tsipras has made preparations for housing and feeding the potentially millions of migrants who could end up being stranded in Greece in spring and in summer as the northern borders close. There also seem to be no plans to use the navy to patrol the coast or return migrants to Turkey.
The backlog of migrants waiting at the main border crossing at Idomeni has reached five to seven thousand, according to media, but migrants arriving in Greece continue to be sent there by bus.
Residents of a suburb of Thessaloniki stormed a barracks that had been hastily designated to house migrants. Riot police used tear gas to break up a protest against a hot spot on Kos.
“The pressure of thousands of migrants is piling on the pressure on a Greece struggling with a stagnant economy, rising social tensions and political pressure and could push the country back towards an exit from the euro zone, analysts Eurasia Group have warned,” reports CNBC.
The pressure of thousands of migrants is piling on the pressure on a Greece struggling with a stagnant economy, rising social tensions and political pressure and could push the country back towards an exit from the euro zone, analysts Eurasia Group have warned.