Northern Greek farmers are currently on standby, ready to take to the streets if necessary. A warning had already been sent to the government, about further protests due to the changes to the tax and pension status of farmers, as well as the government’s failure to compensate some of them for damage caused by the Russian embargo of the European Union.
“With plans to impose a 25% tax on all earnings, an increase in social security contributions and an upfront payment of 75% of income tax, people in the primary sector are in a truly dire situation,” Tasos Halkidis, the president of an association representing 62 unions across Greece, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
“On top of all these impending problems, peach growers in northern Greece… have still not received a single euro following the losses suffered as a result of the Russian embargo,” he said. “Last year we received a small amount as aid in the production of peach, but this year we did not get a single penny and our loss is enormous.”
Moreover, within the next week, he is expected to have a meeting with either the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, or the Greek Defense Minister and President of the Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos to discuss the issues that the rural sector faces.
Meanwhile, in open meeting to be held in the middle of this month, the National Coordinating Committee of Farmers and Breeders will decide on its future actions. “I don’t think we are going to stay in our homes much longer. Our protest seems inevitable,” said Christos Gontias, the committee president.