Tsipras: “We must reclaim our national wealth to exit the crisis”

22 February 2016
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The meeting between the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and farmer representatives is currently under way, in spiteof the tension and disputes among the ranks of farmers that emerged and threatened the meeting. Police security measures outside the Prime Minister’s office at Maximos Mansion are rather high, with all farmer representatives going through thorough checks before allowed inside.

“If we do not reclaim our national wealth, then we cannot speak about income or pensions or exiting the crisis” argued the Prime Minister upon welcoming the farmers in his office, adding that “the agricultural sector can be a pioneer in this”.

The Prime Minister further explained that the government cannot establish a policy for productive reconstruction without taking into consideration the ideas and proposals from the agricultural sector. At the same time though, he noted that the agricultural sector must also take into consideration the overall difficulties and finance financial circumstances at hand.

Accompanying the PM in the meeting are the Minister and Alternate Ministers of Agricultural Development Evangelos Apostolou and Markos Bolaris, the Minister and Deputy Ministers of Labor Giorgos Katrougalos and Anastasios Petropoulos, government spokesperson Olga Gerovasili, as well as SYRIZA MPs Socrates Famellos and Stavros Arachovitis.

Meanwhile, representatives from the nationwide association of young farmers and the nationwide coordination committee claim that they were not allowed to attend the meeting. Officially all farmer blocks are being represented at the meeting, aside from the Nikea block.

Earlier, farmers from 69 road blocks held a meeting at Nikea and decided to request a separate meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday, with a slightly different set of demands. This move has caused frustration among the nationwide coordinating committee that will attend Monday’s talks in Athens.

The farmers at Tempi who represent 38 road blocks, were eventually swayed to participate in the talks, after the talks, having expressed their reservations over the scope of the meeting as well as the representatives who will attend Monday’s talks. Specifically, they only want farmers who are actively invovled in the strike actions to participate in the meeting.

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