Saturday, June 15 2024

Gov’t rejects blackmail by irate farmers

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As farmers announced an escalation of mobilizations on Tuesday, including blockades on the country’s highways and a possible march to Athens next week, government sources said the window of a possible meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is still open on the condition that it will take place with open roads and without disrupting transport and the economy.

 

Sources told Kathimerini that the government showed “absolute goodwill” by making immediate concessions to the demands it considered justified, but in return farmers escalated mobilizations, which “does not help dialogue.”

A meeting with the prime minister under blackmail through road closures will not take place, they stressed.

Another condition for talks to go ahead is that the government should know who it is talking to as the farmers’ front is fragmented. 

 

As a government source told Kathimerini, the demands of the farmers of Thessaly, for example, cannot be equated with the rest of Greece, as it is a given that the region faces extra problems.  

Besides, the government considers that the demands have largely been met. 

For the time being it is monitoring how the mobilizations will unfold and if the farmers take a step back and listen to the conditions set by the government then the discussion can be held in person with the PM.

This is moreover indicated by a series of statements by government officials, who are constantly positioning themselves in favor of dialogue. Government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis told Real FM Radio that the PM’s door is always open, while Rural Development Minister Lefteris Avgenakis stressed that the ministry is open to meeting with farmers.

 

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis stressed on Skai Radio that “we are open to discussing with farmers within the framework, however, of some limits determined by the economy.”