Farmers preparing for blockades
Farmers appear to be ready to “shut down” the country, following a conference of the Panhellenic coordinating body that took place in Platamona of Pieria on Sunday. It was decided to prepare to block national high ways with tractors, depending on the outcome of negotiations of Monday.
The main farmer demands relate to diesel, the cost of production, VAT and taxation, which is the main thorn. Kostas Liliopoulos, vice president of a farmer movement from Imathia, claimed that the Monday meetings with political leaders Alexis Tsipras, Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, as well as the meetings at the ministries of Finances and Agricultural Growth, with determine in large the scale of farmer mobilization.
In a television interview on Mega Channel, Minister of Agricultural Growth Athanasios Tsaftaris claimed that there are no fund available or that could be made available, nor is there any possibility of implementing any of the fuel tax exemptions that the farmers claim.
Farmers from Thessaly will head to the Nikea junction at Larissa, where they will decide upon future action. Imathia farmers symbolically blocked the Egnatia Odos at Kouloura. Viotia farmers have arranged a general assembly for Tuesday, while also examining the possibility of setting a road block at Kastro. At present, New Democracy farmer union leaders are not participating in the strike actions.