Thessaloniki (IP): The police started shooting on farmers who were protesting for their rights in Greece.

Iran PressEurope: Hundreds of Greek farmers on Thursday converged on the country's second city Thessaloniki to demand aid increases, as similar protests gather pace across Europe.

Some 300 tractors and dozens of beekeeper trucks gathered at an annual agricultural fair at the city's municipal centre, reported Iran press citing  AFP journalists said.

They mainly came from Thessaly, the key agricultural region devastated by floods last year.

"The two main problems we face are the increase in production costs, and the new European agricultural pact," Diamantis Diamantopoulos, head of an agricultural association in the northeastern town of Serres, near Thessaloniki, told AFP.

He claimed that the European agriculture budget for Greece "has been reduced by 550 million euros ($595 million) since 2013" and continues to fall.

In recent weeks, farmers have also briefly blocked highways to demand lower taxes, cheaper electricity and fuel and stronger import controls.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday offered to speed up financial aid to farmers in a bid to stave off the protests.

He said growers affected by natural disasters will receive an additional five to 10,000 euros ($5,400-10,800) on top of 2,000 euros already paid out.

The conservative leader also met with protesting farmers during a dam project tour in western Greece, promising to do the utmost within budgetary constraints to help the sector.

A growing movement of farmer discontent is spreading in Europe, with disruptions in France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Romania, and the Netherlands, as the EU scrambles to address concerns ahead of European parliament elections this year. 204