Rural Development and Foods Minister Lefteris Avgenakis on Saturday morning asserted that “political figures” were “behind the effort for protests” by farmers in Greece, while speaking on the public television channel ERT1.
Responding to a question about protesting farmers in Germany, Avgenakis claimed that the German farmers were protesting for a solution to problems that the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has already solved for their Greek counterparts.
Currently in Berlin for the International Green Week Exhibition and the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, the highlight of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, Avgenakis pointed to measures such as the return to farmers of the Special Consumption Tax for diesel, the reduction of VAT on purchases of farming machinery to 13 percent, the halving of taxation on the profits of farmers via cooperatives and the abolition of taxes on subsidies.
According to the minister, the farmers now calling for protests “cannot hide their political party origins”, while many of the problems they cited had either been already solved or were in the process of being solved. While acknowledging that farmers faced problems, he said the government and the ministry were committed to solving them to ensure rural development.
Regarding market inspections, the minister said that ministry services were investigating all complaints, visiting supermarkets and high streets, while he noted that special support measures were being planned for Thessaly farmers on the shores of Lake Karla, whose fields were still flooded.