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Greek farmers warming up tractors

03 November 2015 / 13:11:29  GRReporter
1136 reads

Greek farmers are preparing to respond with a wave of protests to the almost 52% increase in taxation of the sector and in social security contributions planned by the government. In anticipation of apparently turbulent protests, the government is not excluding the possibility of reactions inside and outside the office. Therefore, as commented by the newly established online edition liberal.gr, the members of the economic team of SYRIZA government have organized an operation to convince public opinion that farmers' demands are unfair.

The Ministry has released economic data for 2014, according to which the vast majority of farmers did not pay taxes. In particular, 532,917 people in total declared agriculture as their main economic activity and 466,574 (87.66%) of them declared an annual income of up to 5,000 euro. The average income tax per farmer amounted to 349.81 euro.

Based on these data the Ministry of Finance considers fair the 52% additional taxation of farmers over the next two years. The measures envisaged also include a 100% increase in the preliminary tax and cancellation of lower diesel prices for farmers.

According to 2014 data of the Ministry of Finance:

- The income declared by farmers who were taxed at a 13% rate amounted to 1,341,938,595.81 euro.

- The tax for each farmer was calculated based on an average annual income of 2,518.10 euro.

- The total amount of the total income tax for all incomes from agricultural activity for 2014 was 186,420,669.65 euro.

- The gross income declared amounted to 4,873,441,752.39 euro.

Meanwhile, the process to gradually cancel the reimbursement of excise duty on diesel started in October. Under the third memorandum agreed with creditors, it should be completed in October 2016. This actually means that from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016, farmers will receive 130 euro per 1,000 litres of diesel and after 1 October 2016, the excise duty return will be totally suspended.

While anticipating the voting on tax changes, farmers in Greece are holding meetings to decide on how to oppose them. Expectations are that they will not hesitate to block main roads and impede the smooth traffic on them. There have already been symbolic 15-minute traffic interruptions on roads and highways in some regions and some of the tractors may possibly arrive in Athens to block its centre.

Tags: SocietyEconomyFarmersIncreased taxationProtestsRoadblocks
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