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Greek farmers launch protests on roads

12 October 2015 / 12:10:05  GRReporter
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Greek farmers and breeders are determined to start dynamic protests in the coming days, opposing the adoption of the new tax legislation that provides for changes in the sector.

The decision was taken at yesterday's meeting of farmers in northern Greece and Thessaly and Attica in response to the call by the Hellenic coordinating commission of farmers and breeders in the village Nikea near Larissa.

The participants unanimously supported the proposal to launch protests that would include tractors and farm equipment on the roads and an escort to Athens and said they were determined not to allow the changes in the taxation in their sector to be voted on and implemented. The changes include a rise in the income tax rate from 13% to 20% in 2016 and a gradual cancellation of the return of excise duty on diesel, which is in force at present. In addition, in early October the general secretariat for revenue retroactively increased the tax on farmers’ income in 2014 from 27.5% to 55%. The changes also provide for a preliminary tax of 75% on profits in 2015 and 100% on profits in 2016.

Farmers are adamant that the upcoming changes in the tax laws are unfair and extremely burdensome, and they will virtually destroy the sector.

In comments for GRReporter, chairman of the union of farmers in the region of Serres Yiannis Tourtouras said that his colleagues would also participate in the protests. "There is unrest in the ranks of farmers because the new bill will literally destroy us," said Tourtouras, specifying that the protests in the region of Promachon are not due to start within the next 15 days.

The exact date of the start of protests is not yet clear and neither is how exactly they will take place. The organizers have addressed an open call for participation to all Greek farmers and breeders, arguing, "There is nothing to separate us. These are common problems."

The meeting in Nikea involved also fishermen from the region of Volos and the chairman of the union of merchants in open markets. Together with farmers and breeders, they are determined not to allow the implementation of the new tax measures.

The Hellenic coordination commission of farmer roadblocks will meet in Larissa this coming Sunday and the message by its leadership states that it will adopt decisions on the conduct of nationwide protests "against the anti-farmers policy of the EU and the Greek government in order to create a powerful front against the tax invasion to the detriment of farmers and breeders."

Tags: SocietyFarmer protestsTaxationRoadblocksPromachon
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