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  • Farmers prepare protests with disruptive tractor blockades of roads

    Disruptive protests have worked well for farmers over the years, as they have been able to exact major concessions from successive governments

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team

    Farmers in Thessaly have decided that they will take to the streets and city squares on 12 January in the city of Karditsa to pressure the government to satisfy a long list of demands

    Rizos Maroudas, who is president of the Larissa prefecture farmers’ federation and a member of the nationwide blockade committee, told To Vima that farmers’ associations are up in arms over many long-festering problems that have drastically reduced their income.

    Local farmers’ associations from all over Thessaly are planning meetings this week in order to agree upon the protest strategy, and there will be a tour of regional village to brief farmers and get their feedback.

    Tradition of disruptive protests that pay off

    Disruptive protests have worked well for farmers over the years, as they have been able to exact major concessions from successive governments, such as the gradual increase of their EFKA insurance contributions until 2022, and the postponement of the entrepreneurs’ taxes that they did not pay over the last years.

    The long wish list

    The farmers’ long list of demands includes guaranteed minimum prices that cover the cost of production and provide decent living income, limitation or elimination of middlemen who sell at a 500 percent to 1000 percent mark-up in the market, reduction of production costs and elimination of the ENFIA real estate tax on farmland, abolition of the green tax on water, and elimination of fuel taxes for farmers.

    The farmers are also demanding 12,000 euros in tax-free income annually, and an additional 3,000 tax-free for each child.
    Finally, farmers are demanding free health care, decent pensions, and retirement at age 60 for men and 55 for women farmers.

    Mahi Tratsa

    International