Greek premier offers partial compromises in meeting with protesting farmers

Greece
Wed, 14 Feb 2024 7:29 GMT
Cheaper electric rates, facilitation of debt settlements offered by Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Greek premier offers partial compromises in meeting with protesting farmers

The Greek premier met Tuesday with protesting farmers in Athens and offered partial compromises, according to media reports.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis maintained during the meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office that the government is in a good mood and wants to find solutions to problems raised by the farmers, state-run AMNA news agency announced.

To reach a deal on electricity costs, he said the price per kilowatt hour would be less than €0.10 for farmers participating in cooperative schemes and below 1€0.11 cents for those in arrears, who will be given a chance to settle overdue debts with electric distributing companies.

For the next eight years, one-third of consumption by farmers will be priced at around €0.09 per kilowatt hour.

Mitsotakis also announced the advance payment of the refund of the Special Consumption Tax on agricultural fuel to farmers at the end of the next month. The refund is worth €40 million ($43.17 million).

AMNA, however, said farmers grew frustrated about the results of the meeting.

While some found the refund from the agricultural fuel insufficient, others maintained that most farmers would not be eligible for the discounted electricity.

Some farmers want to continue protesting while some think they have no option but to accept the terms offered by the government.

The partial concessions by the government did not satisfy opposition parties.

"The announced measures prove that there is no empathy of the government for the real problems of the farmers,” said Vassilis Kokkalis, the head of the agricultural policy department of the main opposition SYRIZA party.

Social-democrat PASOK's leader Nikos Androulakis argued that the government is trying to divert responsibility to the EU's environmental policies.

"So the problem is not the European Green Agreement, as you imply and which you are negotiating, but your own incompetence is to blame," he said.

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