Friday, February 7, 2014

Greek farmers are on the path of struggle

“So we are back on the roads again. With the tractors of work and struggle, on the roadblocks in order to survive. We are struggling, tooth and nail, in order to keep our fields and our animals, so that we remain in our villages, so that we can sustain our families through our work in a decent way. 
This struggle is inevitable for us poor farmers. If we don’t struggle, they will drive us off our land, if we do not resist, they will throw us on the bonfire of unemployment and destitution. It is a just struggle. Indeed, this time we are not asking them to give us anything. We are demanding that they do not take way what little is left to us. 
Our accusers emerged the moment we went out onto the roads. Our old acquaintances, each time we carry our mobilizations, “spew bile” against us. They characterize us as “beggars”, “greedy”, “work-shy”, “instigated by political motives”. They have deeply insulted with words like “donkeys” and “terrorists”. (…) 
Now they are accusing us of being “freeloaders” and that we are going onto the roads because we do not want to pay taxes. And allegedly they ask us innocently and naively: As you have some income why don’t you pay the taxes, as the workers, self-employed and businessmen do? 
We answer them: you are wretched liars and dirty slanderers. What are the poor farmers saying no to? We are saying no to the decision of the coalition government of ND-PASOK to collect, through savage and unjust taxation, money from the poor farmers, the workers, the small businessmen and shopkeepers, in order to channel it into the “deep pockets” of big capital.” 
The statement issued by the farmers of Thessaly stressed this amongst other things. Over a thousand tractors have gathered in the “roadblock” in the country’s central motorway, in Nikaia, Larissa. They found the riot police lined up against then from the very first moment, who aim to suppress their struggle with batons and tear gas. 
Thousands of farmers in other regions of Greece, like Macedonia, the Peloponnese, Crete etc. are mobilizing.
The poor farmers are being wiped out by the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU, which is being implemented, zealously and consistently, by the coalition government of ND-PASOK, as well as by all the previous governments, which had the direct or indirect support of the parties of the EU one-way street and which will become even worse through its revision for the period 2015-2020, the subsidies and funding will be further cut. Each year about 20,000 small landowners and small producers in our country are being thrown out of the farming profession and the land and production is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. 
The major agricultural businesses, the multi-nationals, the monopolies-as is happening in other EU countries-are taking agricultural production into their hands, as well as the dietary needs and clothing of the people. 
The poor farmers of Greece are going on to the roads in order to resist the political line of the EU and the government which was put in place to deal with them. At the same time they are struggling for a different agricultural development, which will utilize all the productive advantages of our country, will be based on necessary and vitally important infrastructure projects, on the producer cooperatives and the central planning of the economy. This requires the socialization of the country’s basic means of production, so that such an economy can be constructed, which will not operate on the basis of the capitalist’s profit, but will safeguard the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the people, will provide the workers and farmers with a satisfactory income, cheap and quality products for our people’s dietary needs and raw material for the manufacturing industry. An economy that demands rupture with the inter-state capitalist union, the EU, as well as the corresponding overthrow at the level of power.

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