Talks with farmers deadlocked
Farmers threatened to block traffic on major roads in Greece today (Monday) to demand full payment of subsidies they are entitled to and better prices for their produce.
The farmers announced the planned protest on Sunday after meeting with a minister in Greece's government, which is trying to pull the country's economy out of its worst debt crisis in decades.
Agricultural Development and Food Minister Katerina Batzeli held talks on Sunday with farmers' representatives from 14 roadblocks in central Greece which ended up in deadlock.
The Minister appealed to farmers to show their social sensitivity, while clarifying that there is no possibility of subsidies being given.
"We are close to the struggles of the farmers. We shall follow the path of reforms of institutional changes in the agricultural economy, the agricultural movement," she said, adding that "the farmers are aware of the problems and I hope they will take the correct decisions for the good of society."
The farmers' demands include the immediate payment of subsidies, some of which have been withheld by the European Union pending the completion of a database of all farm holdings.
They also want higher support prices for their products.
Last week, the government estimated losses to Greek exporters from the blockades , including farmers, at 200 million euros ($A312.67 million).
On Friday Greek Prime minister George Papandreou appealed to the "patriotism" of protesting farmers to pull out of roadblocks they have set up throughout the country and to join in a dialogue called by the government on the country's new agricultural policy.
Speaking in parliament, Papandreou warned that the roadblocks were hurting Greece's image in the international economy, stressing that "there is absolutely no margin for satisfying the demands that are put forward sporadically and unplanned".
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