Farmers take their tractors to the streets on Tuesday in Macedonia and Thessaly

Farmers take their tractors to the streets on Tuesday in Macedonia and Thessaly

They are protesting the increase in production costs – What are their demands – Gathering at the Kouloura junction

The farmers come out on the road to Northern Greece, Thessaly and in other parts of the country protesting the huge increase in production costs.

After the meetings held in the previous days by the local agricultural associations, but also after the decision taken on Saturday 8/10 by the Panhellenic Committee of Blocks, the first tractors and agricultural ones will hit the streets on Tuesday 11/10, while there will be a demonstration on Saturday October 22 in Thessaloniki at the opening of Agrotica.

The farmers of Imathia will gather on Tuesday 11/10 at the junction of Kouloura. The President of the Agricultural Association of Voria, Tasos Chalkidis, reports to that the mobilization is a first reaction of the agricultural world, which, as he says, has been brought to its knees both by the terrifying increase in production costs and by the absence of measures that will be able to limit the effects of the crisis and will support the primary sector. “We have a lot of problems and we receive a huge indifference”, points out Mr. Chalkidis. On the same day there will be gatherings in Naoussa, Krya Vrysi of Pella, Serres, Kastoria, Florina, Amyntaio, Tyrnavos and other areas.

Rizos Maroudas, the member of the secretariat of the Panhellenic Bloc Committee, notes at that the situation has become desperate for farmers and breeders. “At the same time that production costs have skyrocketed, the prices of fruit and vegetables and other agricultural products have fallen in half. Now there is a question of the survival of the agricultural world”, he underlines.

Farmers and breeders they have to deal with the huge increase in diesel fuel that has reached gasoline levels for the first time in history, making it unprofitable to move farm machinery.

Giorgos Botas, Rice producer and Secretary of the 2nd Rice Agricultural Cooperative in Halastra, notes to that before the war in Ukraine started, the barrel in the international markets was 85 dollars and the price at the pump was 1.30-1.40 . Right now, he says, the barrel has risen to about $90, an increase of just $5, but the price at the pump at $1.95. “Can someone in charge come out and explain to us how this increase comes about? It’s crazy what’s going on. With the removal of the subsidy at the pump, oil became more expensive than the price of unleaded. Isn’t there someone to intervene?’ he wonders.

He points out that even the oil refund measure in no way compensates for the real increases.

In addition to the increase in oil, producers have to deal with the jump in the prices of fertilizers and agricultural inputs, which have increased by 150%. Farmers are also worried for two reasons: First, because prices will rise further and, second, because there is a possibility of shortages in the market as due to the rise in the price of natural gas, the fertilizer and supply industries in Europe are expected to reduce their production.

Added to the above is the large increase in electricity but also in animal feed, with livestock farmers no longer able to cope with production costs and leading herds to slaughter, with a visible risk of reducing the country’s livestock.

Among other things, the farmers claim:
• Reduction of production costs, tax-free oil, abolition of the readjustment clause, subsidization of agricultural supplies and animal feed as well as abolition of VAT on them and on basic necessities for all.
• Changing the ELGA regulation so that it insures and indemnifies 100% production and capital against all natural risks and diseases. To pay the compensations that have not been given immediately.
• Lower guaranteed prices that cover production costs and leave sustainable income for farmers.
• No power outages in homes and drilling rigs.

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