The fair in the northern city has considerable political significance as it is where the government traditionally outlines its economic policy for the coming twelve months
The country’s main trade fair kicks off on Saturday, when it will be officially opened by the prime minister.
Antonis Samaras will inaugurate the 78th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) at 10am. Afterwards, he is scheduled to deliver an address to representatives of local government and state.
The fair has considerable political significance as it is where the government traditionally outlines its economic policy for the coming twelve months.
Prime ministers also traditionally gave a press conference on the second day of the fair, but Samaras last year dispensed with the event.
Unions are planning large demonstrations at the event, to voice their opposition to government policies. The main rally is scheduled to start at 6pm on Saturday.
About four thousand police are being drafted into the city for the weekend, including motorcycle Dias units from Athens and counterterrorism officers.
Other party leaders will also attend the TIF, in part to offer their response to the government’s agenda.
Main opposition Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras will visit Thessaloniki twice. On Saturday 7 September, he will take part in union protest rally. Later next week, on Friday 13 September, he will address a party rally in the city, followed on the next day by a speech and press conference.