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The prosecutors office of Serres pressed charges against the farmers who were taking part in the blockages

21 January 2010 / 12:01:57  GRReporter
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The government gave the farmers time until tomorrow to raise the blockages. They said they will not negotiate with the Minister of rural development Katerina Batzeli, but only with the Prime Minister George Papandreou. Their requests are to prepare the national strategy for agriculture and to assure economic survival of the farmers.

The farmers from the Coordination center of 19 municipalities asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister stating that such a meeting could solve many problems. In spite of the fact that the government gave them time until tomorrow – Friday, to raise the blockages it seems that farmers will not step back. Prime Minister announced that the government will not step back and will not pay the money and asks the farmers to start a dialogue, which will start on Monday in the Zappeio congress center in Athens.

In a telephone conversation the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boiko Borisov asked for the interference of Mr. Papandreou in order to raise the blockage at Promahonas, because the Bulgarian producers are losing about 3 million euro on a daily basis. Mr. Borisov spoke with the leader of the New democracy Andonis Samaras and said that Mr. Samaras has a very opened position on the matter and is against the closing of the roads.

During the meeting in the council of ministers yesterday it was taken the decision that the government has to take some measures in case the blockages don’t start to fall apart. At the same time blockages are increasing – farmers from Boeotia and Phthiotis have planned to bring more tractors and close the circular roads today. The farmers from the Crete island have finally decided not to go to Athens as their representatives will meet minister Batzeli.

The tractors at Promahonas keep staying at the blockage for third day in a raw which will lead to the formation of many kilometers of queues from the trucks on both sides of the border. The frontier post opened for four hours last night between the hours of 22:00 and 2:00. This lead to the interference of the local prosecutors’ office in Serres which ordered the police to press charges against the farmers who are taking part in the blockage on the roads.

On the other side the ministry of rural development announced they will support by monetary means the tobacco producers with 568 million euro which is part of the deductions of the European funds. Nevertheless the tobacco producers answered back claiming that the biggest part of them do not meet the criteria to receive this money.

The opposing party New democracy is trying to balance between its position that on one hand the reactions on the part of the farmers are absolutely justified for blaming the government and on the other hand New democracy has explicitly stated to be against the closing of the highways.

The roads at Amfipoli and Hrisupoli to Kavala as well as the junctions at Nikea, Thessaly and Mikrotiva will stay closed, and the traffic of cars will go on the circulate roads. The traffic at the frontier posts Ormenio and Kipi in the Evros region is not stopped. These borders were opened in the night when the tractors were placed around the road. The farmers brought new tractors at Eginio close to Katerini and at the road close to Elasonas. Farmers allow the traffic of cars and stop the traffic of trucks at the frontier post at Eksohi in the Drama region.

Tags: News blockages farmers tobacco producers
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