Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mass farmers rally held outside the Greek Parliament

On 20 February, thousands of farmers from all over Greece, who have set up more than 50 roadblocks at the national road for a month now, arrived in Athens with dozens of buses and tractors and held a large march, which ended with a rally outside the Greek parliament.

The poor farmers were warmly received in the Greek capital by trade unions, university students’ unions, unions of the self-employed of the city, the Federation of Women of Greece and other mass organizations.

Giannis Tasioulas, president of the Federation of Builders, addressed the rally on behalf of the Attica unions, which contributed to its preparation. “We are on your side. The workers stand shoulder to shoulder with the farmers, the farmers stand shoulder to shoulder with the workers, because we share common interests. Because we are the ones paying the consequences of the anti-labour policy, the anti-farmers policy of the CAP and the EU. Because we have to face the same problems that are given rise to and exacerbated by the same causes. When it comes to our needs, there are budgetary constraints. But when it comes to the interests of the few, they are free to trample on our lives for their profits”, he stressed.

During the rally, the farmers highlighted their main demands, which include the reduction of production costs; that the New CAP should not be implemented and should be renegotiated; the replacement of lost income from disasters at 100% of the actual damage; measures to stop the rebranding of imported plant, animal and bee products as Greek products;minimum guaranteed selling prices of agricultural products that cover the cost of production; infrastructure projects for flood protection of the country.

DIMITRIS KOUTSOUMBAS: The farmers’ struggle is just, the entire country stands by their side

The GS of the CC of the KKE, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, attended the mass, nationwide rally of the farmers in Syntagma square and statedthe following: “We welcome the Greek farmers here, in the heart of Athens, in the heart of Greece. Their struggle is just, their demands are just. We stand by their side. The whole of Athens, the whole of Greece stands by their side. Mr Mitsotakis’ government must stop the mockery. It must satisfy the farmers’ demands. The government, which generously funds a few big business groups, cannot play the card of the ‘resilience of the economy’ and suddenly remember about budgetary goals now that it’s time togive money to the farmers and provide them with compensation, now that it’s time to give money to the people. The farmers demand tax-free fuel, that electricity should cost 7 cents per kilowatt hour; full compensation from the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA); infrastructure in agricultural production; cheap production costs. While traders and industrialists buy agricultural supplies and meansat extremely low prices, they sell them to farmers at exorbitant prices.Thus, the farmers demand minimum guaranteed prices. The government must stop the rebranding of foreign products as Greek products and take measures to relieve the Greek farmers, so that supermarket shelves are filled with quality and cheap products and that the people do not pay the price.”