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Greek tobacco producers against Brussels

19 November 2008 / 13:11:23  GRReporter
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The most important decisions in the last years, regarding the tobacco producer’s subsidies, will be made these days in Brussels, where the health check in the Agricultural politics will be voted.


 


Tobacco producer’s syndical organizations from all across Europe will arrange a protesting rally in front of the building, where the Ministers of Agriculture of the EU will have their meeting, and at the same time, Greek demonstrations are being organized.


 


Yesterday, tobacco producers from Fthiotida region, closed the Athens-Thessaloniki highway on the 210th km next to Lamia. In order to be able to pass, the cars had to deviate from smaller roads. The farmers and more than a hundred tractors closed off the highway for an hour because of the unpleasant developments around the subsidies for tobacco producing. The Athens-Thessaloniki highway is closed at one more point – around the 140th km, the region of Ataladis. The 79th km of the Ioanina-Adirio road is also closed by the tobacco producers.


 


At the same time, around 300 agricultural machines gathered at the Atlantis intersection. The farmers are determined to stay on the highway until receiving positive results regarding the subsidies for tobacco producing.


 


According to the April 2004 voted Common organization of the Mediterranean products market – cotton, tobacco, olive oil – from 2009, 50% of the subsidies, which 58 000 of tobacco producers have taken from the government have been cut and redirected towards Pylon II for agricultural development. The decision has been made from all tobacco producing countries and is part of the anti-smoking campaign. “Vima” newspaper notes that four years later the Euro-politicians have changed their minds, because the cut of the subsidies predicts the fall of hundredths of thousands tobacco producers in Europe.


 


A group of nine countries has been created in Europe, among which is Greece, which aim to block the decision making process connected to the cut of subsidies. On the other hand, the members of the syndical organizations claim that 50% from the tobacco subsidies from 2009 to 2013 accounted for 570 million Euro, have already been tight according to the Fourth Community Framework program (programs for the development of the country), so that the requests of the Agricultural development and foods minister, Mr. Alexandros Kondos cannot be about keeping the subsidies for the tobacco producers…The European Commission said that it is ready to help the tobacco producers, who have been affected by the subsidies’ cut.

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