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Farmers are intensifying their protests

07 February 2014 / 15:02:37  GRReporter
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Farmers in Greece continue to protest since the new regulations announced yesterday by government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou do not satisfy them.

The government spokesman specified that farmers (even those who have an income above 15,000 euro) will not be required to keep books but only invoices for income and expenses, those of them running other activities for which they keep accounting books being an exception of this rule.

"The announced by the government does not meet our basic demands, we will continue fighting as before", states chairman of the federation of agricultural companies in Larissa area Rizos Maroudas.

As he noted, the government decisions are an attempted eyewash and do not meet the two basic demands of farmers, namely to reduce production costs and to set as non-taxable a family income of 20,000 euro plus 5,000 euro for each child.

"The announced by the Prime Minister is very far from the reality faced by Greek farmers today. We expect to hear efficient measures related to our main demands", states chairman of the agricultural union of Palama Kostas Dzelas.

The farmers from Thessaly region have called for a national meeting of agricultural trade unions on Saturday, aiming at better coordination of the blockades.

"We have not yet started", states Christos Kamtsis, a member of the strike coordinating committee.

Farmers have requested a meeting with the Minister of Finance and the leaders of all political parties.

Representatives of the owners of lorries at the meeting in Nikea

Representatives of farmers met on Thursday afternoon, during the blockade in Nikea, with representatives of institutions in the city and the area to inform them on their demands and to exchange opinions.

Renowned agricultural trade unionist of the Greek Communist Party Vangelis Boutas informed on the actual situation.

It should be noted that the participants in the meeting had involved representatives of the owners of lorries who, in earlier protests of farmers, had been against them. Now, not only did they attend the meeting but also declared willingness to support the struggle of farmers, leaving open the possibility of their industry taking active part in the protests after Monday.

Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece Dimitris Koutsoubas at the barricades

It is expected that Secretary of the Greek Communist Party Dimitris Koutsoubas will visit the blockade in Nikea at noon on Friday. Moreover, representatives of other blockades across Greece (which, according to farmers, are more than 30 in number) are invited to participate in the meeting for better coordination of their efforts, which will take place at the cultural centre in Nikea on Saturday.

The protests in the Peloponnese continue too

The protests of the farmers from the areas of Arcadia and Laconia on the Tripoli-Sparta road continue as they state that they will remain there until the government listens to their problems.

The farmers have parked their tractors and other agricultural machinery roadside without hampering the traffic.

The roadblock of the farmers from Argolida at the exit from Anifio, who are planning to hold a rally outside the building of the regional government in Nafplio, is continuing for the second day in a row.

Farmers’ demands

Let us recall that a decision of the Ministry of Finance of 1 January 2014 obliges farmers to keep accounting books of income and expenditure. The regulation excludes those of them who have a gross income of up to 10,000 euro and who are entitled to a unified allowance to the amount of 5,000 euro.

The protesters insist on excluding farmers with turnover of less than 40,000 euro (gross) from the regulation and on introducing a non-taxable family income of up to 20,000 euro (plus 5,000 euro for each child in the family).

At the same time, in order to reduce the high production costs, sector representatives want to be able to buy naphtha and consume night tariff electricity without paying the corresponding tax. In addition, they have formulated demands that relate to an easier access to bank lending and to the settlement of overdue loans (through cutting debts to the amount of 200,000 euro by 30%) as well as of tax obligations ("no" to the auction of houses and estate with a tax valuation below 300,000 euro).

Meanwhile, farmer unions demand the following: abolishing the planned cuts and some restrictions under the common agricultural policy of the European Union for the period 2015-2020, allocating subsidies to small- and medium-sized stockbreeders for feed and guaranteeing lower prices of farmers and livestock products.


Tags: FarmersProtestsDemandsFederation of agricultural unions
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