By Penelope Galliou

The long-awaited “white smoke” after the meeting of the farmers with the prime minister did not finally come out of the Maximos Palace, where the meeting was held, and instead the dissatisfaction of the farmers with the new support measures announced yesterday, once again clouds the atmosphere between them.

The dissatisfaction of the farmers was expressed from the first minutes after the end of the meeting with Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis while the subsequent proposals to continue the mobilizations or even the proposals for the descent of the farmers with their tractors in Athens next week, electrify the climate again.

But as much as the pressure from the farmers tends to increase again towards the government, the Maximos Palace declares that the package presented yesterday, which will have immediate effect and impact on all farmers, is the final package, leaving no room for new expectations. “There is nothing else to be given or put up for negotiation,” clarified government sources.

The assessment, which prevails on the government side, according to information, is optimistic, regarding the outcome of the reactions, considering that de-escalation may eventually occur, despite the first “shadows”. This governmental expectation stems from the climate that prevailed inside the Maximos Palace, during the meeting of the prime minister with the representatives of the farmers, which was considered good and it seems that there was an understanding of the data. After all, the farmers themselves, coming out of the Maximos Palace, spoke of a constructive dialogue, regardless of the fact that not all their requests were accepted and their position will be redefined after the local general assemblies.

In any case, the government insists, as it did from the beginning of the crisis with the farmers, that the door to dialogue is always open for institutional issues, but also for the issue of agricultural oilfor which Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself, during the meeting with the farmers, announced that the government is willing to open a dialogue for a fairer way of returning the EFFK from 2025 onwards, with elements of a permanent solution, regarding how it is distributed the refund amount, who will receive it and when.

In a thorn in the relations of the government of farmers, but also of society with farmers – as they estimate in government – possible road closures are expected to develop, for which some of their representatives predicted before the new farmers’ assemblies even took place. Such a possibility, which will hinder traffic but also make the daily life of professionals and citizens difficult, will obviously not be accepted, announced by Megaros Maximos which, according to information, is determined to deal with it. After all, the open roads were from the beginning a red line for the government in order to conduct the dialogue and negotiation with the farmers, which was respected and observed by both sides.

For the time being, the government is taking a wait-and-see attitude, in view of the new decisions of the farmers, expecting that the most “cool” voices will prevail and not the suggestions of those who want to strengthen the blockades and escalate the mobilizations that can even go as far as closing the roads. The prime minister “scraped the bottom of the barrel, as he promised” to satisfy their demands, commented government sources, recalling yesterday’s new support initiatives, for cheaper electricity for all farmers for 2+8 years and advance payment of the return of the Special Consumption Tax on agricultural oil (amounting to 82 million euros), amounting to 40 million euros, at the end of March.

However, the same sources clarified that there is not expected to be a new meeting on agricultural issues and that the prime minister, when he finishes his travels, will have meetings on the issues of Thessaly, the ones he does with the institutions of the region.