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Farmers remain at the roadblocks

03 February 2013 / 15:02:49  GRReporter
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Farmers will remain with their tractors at the blockades that they raised in various parts of the country, without currently causing problems for the movement of vehicles. The part of the road of Egnatia between Serres and Kavala, at the exit for Nea Koridalia, was closed on Sunday afternoon for one hour by farmers from Serres without using agricultural machinery. On Monday at noon, they will join forces and deploy tractors at the Lefkonas crossing on the roads Serres-Thessaloniki and Serres-Promahon without closing them.

Farmers from Thessaly are determined to stay put. On Saturday afternoon, they said that the blockade at Nicaea was pan-Thessalian and the strongest one. In a press statement, the Federation of Agricultural Companies from Karditsa, Larissa and Trikala emphasised that the fight was growing and that the government terror would not pass. President of the Federation from Karditsa, Vangelis Boutas, said that the fight was a common one and the solidarity of society was evident from the statements of various public organisations. Late on Saturday night, a few dozen farmers blocked the highway checkpoints at Moschohorio, lifted the barriers and let the cars pass freely. Following the intervention of the police the farmers retreated.

In the Peloponnese, farmers' trade unionists from Arcadia and Argolis met and discussed their actions and the strengthening of the roadblocks in the Peloponnese. They held a symbolic protest on the old highway by positioning their tractors along both sides of the road for a while, then went back. In Argolis, the blokade at Mannes remains, and the number of agricultural machines is changing constantly. In Messinia, a farmers' protest will be held on Sunday in Soulinari. At three gathering points in the Achaea region, dozens of machines have been gathered without causing problems for the traffic on the road Patras-Pyrgos and the Patras-Tripoli highway. In the Imathia region, there is a road block on the Egnatia road at Kouloura and farmers from Pella and Pieria are constantly arriving. In Drama, Kavala and Xanthi, the machines are located at the entrance of Chrysopouli, in the Nestos region, along the road Drama-Kavala, as well as at Mavrolefki and at the Kokinogiathe crossing. The situation in the regions of Evros and Rodopi is similar.

Protests are starting in the merchant navy as well. Until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, ships will remain in port because of the 48-hour strike announced by trade unions. Workers in the fleet are thinking of continuing the strike, after they staged a protest at the port of Piraeus on Saturday at noon in the presence of General Secretary of the Communist Party Aleka Papariga. More such protests are also expected. Union representatives said that they are determined to realise their demands and urged the government to withdraw the bill for the fleet. They characterised it as a tombstone for what awaits sailors, especially those who work in the passenger fleet. According to them, the current situation regarding their 10-month employment will be annulled.

"At the same time when the Greek fleet's bosses rank first in the world, Greece is preparing a bill that would make the last remaining few thousand sailors redundant, after a series of measures designed to eliminate the right according to which only Greek ships can operate the domestic shipping lines," said Aleka Papariga. PASOK MPs, responsible for shipping, as well as Nikos Sifounakis and Kostas Triandafilos, MPs for the islands of Chios and Lesbos, respectively, said that the bill needs amendments and adjustments, at a meeting on Friday with the Minister of the Navy. As regards the appointment of crews, they expressed concerns about the proposed rule, which will introduce personal labour contracts for low level crew members. They emphasised the need for combining the measures for the survival of shipping companies and the introduction of protection for employees. It was agreed that the discussion would continue before the law is submitted to Parliament.

MP of the Independent Greeks party from the region of the Dodecanese, Mika Yatridi, who is responsible for the sector within the party, and the party's parliamentarian representative Terence Quick, submitted a query to Parliament addressed to the Minister of the Navy, Konstantinos Mousouroulis, on rising unemployment in this most ancient and most crucial sector of the Greek economy. They noted that, at the end of 2012, the number of registered unemployed sailors was 4,355 - 27% of all sailors, and asked the Minister if he knew that the new provisions of the bill would multiply this number significantly.

Tags: blockade protest strike farmers sailors navy bill
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