Thursday, July 25 2024

PM willing to meet farmers on Monday, Gov’t spokesman says

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Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “is willing to meet [the protesting farmers] on Monday,” provided they lift their road blocks on the national highway network, government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis said on Thursday.

 

“The prime minister has made it quite clear that open roads mean the dialogue can continue. We do not want to reach a point where citizens’ free movement is obstructed,” he added.

Frustrated farmers announced an escalation of mobilizations on Tuesday, including blockades on the country’s highways and a possible march to Athens next week.

Aiming to end escalating mobilizations, the government announced a package of measures including an extension of  a special tax return on agricultural diesel by a year, settlement of debts to PPC of the Local and General Land Improvement organizations, as well as a guarantee of a medium-term reduction in electricity costs of at least 30% compared to current prices for a decade.

 
 

Farmers were unhappy with the measures announced, but government ruled out additional support measures earlier this week.

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture have been visiting representatives of the protesting farmers around the country, while Agriculture Minister Eleftherios Avgenakis has called on them to form a 20-member delegation so that the dialogue may go on, again, if the roadblocks are lifted.

In reference to the European Union’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), which has been a cornerstone of many of the farmer protests taking place around the continent, Deputy Agriculture Minister Dionysios Stamenitis said the government recognizes the CAP’s problems and is cooperating with other EU member states so that its issues may be expressed comprehensively.