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Greek farmers protest planned tax reforms

Wednesday - 2/19/2014, 11:39am  ET

A protester stands under a banner reads ''Farmers'' during a rally outside the Greek parliament against government tax policies in Athens Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. About 4,000 people, including civil servant unions, took part in the peaceful demonstration to the House of Parliament. Greece's conservative-led government has committed to continue spending cuts and economic reforms in exchange for billions of euros in international rescue loans. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- About 4,000 Greek farmers and civil servants have marched through central Athens to protest planned increases in taxation on farming revenues.

Brandishing banners and Greek flags, the protesters from various parts of mainland Greece and the island of Crete marched peacefully to Parliament Wednesday.

Farmers' unions object to the conservative-led government's plans to expand the tax base by including many categories of farmers who previously paid little or no tax.

Protesters have been sporadically blocking highways in rural Greece in recent weeks and have vowed to keep up their protests, despite winning some concessions from the finance ministry.

Greece is embroiled in a major financial crisis and is implementing tough spending cuts and reforms in exchange for the international rescue loans that have kept it afloat since 2010.

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