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Negotiations between farmers and government - failure

27 January 2009 / 16:01:58  GRReporter
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The Greek farmers rejected the offered by the government help of 620 million Euros and will continue blocking the roads for an unlimited time. The Bulgarian request for a transit corridor through Greece, which was sent to the European Commission and to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was left unanswered from Athens.

The meeting, which took place last night, between the minister of agricultural development Sotiris Hadzigakis and representatives of the striking farmers ended unsuccessfully – both sides seem relentless. The farmers characterized the offer as pitiful and left the meeting with the statement that they will increase the blockades on the Greek roads. The Minister said that the claims, which they had for compensation, have been satisfied but the government cannot guarantee minimum wages because this is in conflict with the EU laws.

Here are the compensations, which the government offered to the farmers:

- The cotton producers will receive 45 Euros per 1000m when the damages are big and 25 Euros per 1000m when damages are smaller.

- Corn producers will receive 25 Euros per 1000m for big damages and 20 Euros per 1000m for smaller damages. All producers will be given a grant of 5.50 Euros per 1000m and their gas taxes will be returned.

- Wheat producers will receive 12 and 7 Euros per 1000m respectively of the different damages, a grant of 3 Euros per 1000m, and a gas tax return.

- Olive oil producers will receive 30 cents per liter.

In spite of this compensation, the farmers will remain on the roads. The border station in Evzoni at the Macedonian border was left open during last night. Promahon is remains closed, where a common demonstration is expected today from the Bulgarian and Greek farmers. The border station Ilinden-Exohi opened for a little bit during last night but the border station Kapitan Petko Voyvoda was left closed. Kipi-Ipsala at the Turkish border was also blocked. The Athens-Thessaloniki highway is closed on many different points. The Hania-Retimno highway on Crete Island also remained closed. The Peloponnese farmers, who joined the strike yesterday and did not participate in the negotiations, will meet the minister today around lunch time. The Athens-Patra highway is also closed form yesterday around the Korinthos region.

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