Protesting farmers in Thessaloniki call new gov't measures 'a drop in the ocean'
More then 300 farmers with their tractors were lined up on Friday south of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF)-HELEXPO premises, where the Agrotica fair is taking place, saying their struggle is just beginning.
The farmers, fishermen, and beekepers from Central Macedonia said they did not wish to worsen the traffic problem in Thessaloniki and would leave for their blockades after Agrotica ends on Sunday. They insisted however that the only thing they wanted were substantial resolutions to their issues.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had announced measures to help primary sector professionals with an extension into 2024 of the return of the special consumption tax for diesel, an additional 10% discount on power bills, and payoff of outstanding debts with up to 75% state aid, among other measures.
Farmer from Langadas Kostas Chatziparadissis, representing the protesters in the rally at Thessaloniki, told Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) they wanted more substantiated solutions, "not skin-deep announcements," adding that the return of the special consumption tax on diesel was not enough for anyone in the primary sector. The measures the prime minister announced, he said, "are a drop in the ocean. They do not even touch upon the real and existing problems of the primary sector, which if not dealt with, will mean we shall be wiped out and leave Greece, in debt and unemployed."