Farmers to contemplate next move in tax dispute

Protesting farmers are due to gather in central Greece Sunday to decide on what action to take next after their attempts to convince the government to grant them substantial concessions reached a dead end.

Any slim chances of the two sides reaching a deal after planned tax hikes prompted ire in the farming sector appeared to fade yesterday when Agricultural Development Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris refused to meet with farmers from Serres in Macedonia, choosing instead to hold talks with other farmers from northern Greece.

“This was a terrible mistake by the minister, which we attribute to his inexperience,” said Pavlos Arabatzis, the head of a farming union in Serres.

Farmers from the north will head to Nikaia in central Greece tomorrow to discuss what further action to take. “We are not ruling anything out,” said Arabatzis.

The government has offered some concessions to farmers, including cheaper nighttime electricity rates, but the agriculturalists complained that they have not been given details of the proposed charges.

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