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Farmers have the right to protest, but with paid taxes and without blockades

04 February 2016 / 14:02:28  GRReporter
3898 reads

Ivan Petkov

Thousands of Greek farmers have blocked the roads of the country and the border crossings to Bulgaria. The protest actions, which are unprecedented in size, are against the pension reform proposed by the Greek government. In this connection we asked, "Do the Greek farmers have the right to block highways and border crossings?" The poll results on our three language pages show interesting trends in relation to the attitude of the three groups of our readers.

One third of the readers of our Bulgarian language page support the protesting farmers because of the cuts in their pensions. 33% of respondents support the protest, despite the inconvenience of roadblocks. It is worth noting that a significant part of Bulgarian citizens perceives the various forms of protests in Greece as a collective fight for rights, which is not common in Bulgaria. Logically, the second largest group of readers or 30% of respondents also support the protest, but are of the opinion that the discontent should be expressed without hampering the traffic. The protest is not supported by 23% of readers who believe that it is high time for farmers to begin to pay taxes. 12% believe that farmers have received enough European subsidies and should not complain. The smallest number of readers, only 2%, thinks that the lack of work during the winter period and the resulting boredom are the causes for farmers’ blockades.

The voting of the readers of the English page of GRReporter is different. The largest group of them, 35%, agrees that farmers must begin to pay taxes instead of protesting. This position is in line with Europe’s demands to improve tax collection, along with the apple of discord, namely the pension reform. 27% of readers support the protest, but not the blocking of highways. 18% of respondents stand behind the actions of farmers, considering pension cuts unfair and the cause for an expected reaction. 12% are of the opinion that the European subsidies received have been sufficient and farmers should not complain. According to 8%, the protests are due to the winter season and the boredom from lack of work.

Our Greek readers support the protest actions of their fellow citizens, but not the blocking of highways, which is the position of 41% of all respondents on our Greek page. In addition to the content of the protest, 35% of our readers support its form too, namely the blocking of the border crossings with Bulgaria and major thoroughfares. About 16% of respondents believe it is high time for farmers to start paying taxes whereas 8% think that the European subsidies for farmers have been sufficient and they should not complain. No reader on this page sees the boredom from lack of work in the winter as the cause for the protests.

The topic of our latest poll is interesting and we are confident that it will provoke a huge interest among our readers, as it asks, “Are Bulgarians or Greeks greater patriots?” We are looking forward to the results of the survey!

Tags: FarmersProtestsGreecePension reformPoll
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