NEWS

Farmers’ movement splits into Left, Right

Militant Thessaly farmers failed to agree yesterday on their planned protests in Athens, as the meeting intended to finalize the march broke up in a storm of recriminations between Communists and farmers allied to the conservative New Democracy party. The meeting in Larissa was clouded by the Communist Party announcement yesterday branding all farmers’ unions not belonging to the Communist Party (KKE) as «the right hand of the government» and the «fifth column of the agricultural movement.» The Communists walked out when ND organizer Thanassis Nasikas called for a decision on the Athens protest that was intended to cap two weeks of protests that included roadblocks across central and northern Greece. KKE official Vangelis Boutas said that «fights will still be fought,» while Nasikas said farmers would reconvene in Thessaloniki to determine a date for the march (probably within February), which was now a «matter of honor.» The protests were held to demand that the government announce the price of cotton. Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys said yesterday the price would be set at 271-285 drachmas per kilo.