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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsFarmers in Greece Vow to Continue Protests Despite Government Handouts

Farmers in Greece Vow to Continue Protests Despite Government Handouts

Farmers Greece
Farmers protesting recently in Thessaloniki. Credit: Achilleas Chiras/AMNA

Farmers in Greece say that their demands have not been met and protests will continue after a meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday.

Speaking to public broadcaster ERT, one of the farmers’ representatives, Rizos Maroudas, said that the roadblocks will be strengthened to fulfill their demands, which will determine their “survival.”

“There are several young people at the blockades that are fighting this battle to stay in the profession and the village – and at the same time so we can continue to cultivate and produce, so there is good quality and inexpensive food,” he added.

At the meeting, the government proposed further support measures for farmers who have been protesting for weeks over rising energy costs and competition from abroad.

Greece farmers
Credit: AMNA

“I believe we can find common ground, taking into account your justified concerns,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told farmers’ representatives ahead of the meeting.

“I believe that we can arrive at a common ground, which takes into account your own justified concerns but also takes into account the fact that the country’s fiscal margins are given and limited,” he added.

The government announced that farmers will be eligible for lower electricity costs for two years beginning in April. This is a measure that will be partly financed by proceeds from renewables and carbon market credits.

After that period, electricity prices will be stabilized for a third of their power consumption for another eight years, the energy ministry said in a statement.

Mitsotakis told farmers they had received more than one billion euros in compensation for crops damaged in natural disasters since 2019 and noted Greece’s fiscal constraints.

Farmers’ demands in Greece

The farmers’ demands include duty-free agricultural diesel, reduced electricity costs, subsidies on supplies and animal feed, renegotiation of the EU’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), full compensation for lost income, and cessation of the labeling of non-Greek produce as Greek.

Many of their demands mirror similar protests that have been gripping Europe for weeks now. However, in Greece, farmers also demand the government deliver on promises made months ago. This includes compensation for thousands of crops and livestock destroyed in deadly floods and rainstorms that battered the farming heartland in September 2023.

In a rash of measures recently announced, Mitsotakis said the state would settle farmers’ overdue power and water bills and a tax rebate of diesel fuel would be extended for another year.

“This is all the funding the federal budget can provide at this time,” said Pavlos Marinakis, a government spokesman. “If we could offer more we would. But we don’t want to make phony promises.”

RelatedFarmers’ protests all over Europe

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