Angry Greek Farmers Plan Road Blockade



AgrotesGreek farmers furious over government policies, including tax hikes, that have upped their cost of doing business said they will put their tractors on the roads on Jan. 28 in a symbolic blockade, but will move to stop traffic unless their demands are not met.

After a meeting of farmers from across the country, representatives said they are determined to stifle traffic on the roads if the austerity measures aren’t pulled back.

Vangelis Boutas, head of the farmers union in Karditsa, speaking with the website Newsit, said farmers would deploy their tractors in breakdown lanes of national roads on Jan. 28. Symbolic blockades will be set at key intersections in a number of prefectures around the country as well as on Crete.

The farmers said if their demands are not met after meetings with political leaders, they will move ahead by blocking roads around the country.  The Vice-President of the farmers’ movement, Costas Liliopoulos, told the Athens News Agency that the farmers meeting represented those from all around Greece. “There’s a  big uproar heating up. Today’s meeting, where it was decided that … all the tractors are going out has been unprecedented. There will be a very big movement,” he said.

He said the farmers want to meet major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, as well as two of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ coalition partners, PASOK Socialist head Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis, as well as ministerial officials overseeing agricultural development and finance.

“If we take the tractors off the roads depends on the meetings (with officials,)” he said. “If the result isn’t satisfactory we will close the roads indefinitely. We will be everywhere, on the national roads, the ports, the airports, customs offices and northern borders,” he warned. “It is an issue of the government, how much our demands will be satisfied. If the meetings prove fruitless a mosquito won’t be able to pass,” he added.

The basic demands of the farmers, he said, are very serious and concern the cost of fuel, production and taxes, which he stressed, “may be the biggest trap.”


10 COMMENTS

  1. Protesting is a way to ensure the voice of the people will be heard. But be aware that whole uerope understand the bad situation greece is in. So, the signal is not really necessary. The counterside is that further protesting will undermine progress. Please reform further, go after tax evators, cheaters in your own country first, instead asking for money. Eu is no milkcow.

  2. Everybody wants someone else to pay. Anyone ever try to buy anything from a farmer? I(t’s CASH ONLY….but it’s the OTHER guy who is a tax cheat. Amazing disconnect of tax cheating for all Greeks. 

    I have a great idea. Confiscate or destroy every tractor that takes part in the blockade. 

  3. The funny thing is that farmers have taken money from the government unlawfully by submitting false information to collect subsidies from the EU and now they demand…They should pay back what they’ve taken by illegal and corrupt means than they can demand… 

  4. Good point John but mainland Greeks are used to this way of life..Greek politicians taught them to be like this…They want to take but not to give…They enjoy living in a corrupt culture and society…They think they are clever by doing so…It’s shame that this beautiful country have reached this stage and it looks to me that no changes will take place because corrupt society is more stronger than non-corrupt ones…

  5. Those who have done so MUST be brought to task but that aside, the Government MUST defend the agrarian heritage of the nation. They must follow French actions and demand that NO ONE produce anything called Feta or Greek style yogurt… etc or take action again, as the French did over their wines. They must heavily promote Hellenic farm produce, olives, grapes, wines… and actively pursue such promotion through every consulate and every embassy of the Hellenic nation. Farmers should also consider themselves how to strengthen their own marketing through their own farmers’ cooperatives as exist in Australia, for example, where certain cheese companies and produce deliverers are a part of a coop.

  6. EVERYBODY wants the easy and free. I had some orchards and it it took far more money and effort then any returns so I sold them. These people simply wont face reality that in an open market, they are competing with other farmers throughout the EU and they simply wont make it. Screaming and striking wont change that. If it does, the REST of Greek society will pay for it by subsidizing them. How is that fair? 

     

  7. I agree with you in some part of your comment but as the 2nd part regarding Greek embassies abroad, I witnessed myself how embassy staff works in facts they are doing nothing other than gossiping with each other about the previous night leaving important tasks undone…I say this from past experiences in different Greek embassies around the world…They have no interest in working promoting the country and it’s products…They are just worthless and useless…

  8. I never said that is fair…There should be a fairer system for all and not just for some…

  9. Given it is their own business they have a right to not work if they wish. However if they block public roads their tractors should be impounded and fines issued. This constant terrorizing of people that aren’t part of some protest is unacceptable.

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