SOCIETY 07.11.23 10:33
Michael Angelos Constantopoulos
They are calling for clear timetables, bold and faster reparations and projects to restore farmland and infrastructure. ● They are threatened with power cuts.
Flood-affected farmers of the prefecture, along with other victims from Thessaly, are taking part in a mass protest at the offices of ELGA and OPEKEPE in Larissa today.
As noted by the United Federation of Agricultural Associations of the Prefecture of Larissa (EOASNL) and the Committee of Flood Affected Farmers, two months after the floods there is stagnation and a long delay in financial aid and government solutions to support the flood affected villages, farmers, breeders and beekeepers. They also complain that there is no information and no timetable for the necessary projects so that there is an outflow of stagnant waters in the area of Lake Karlas. At the same time, with the reduced advance payment of 70% that the country’s farmers received a few days ago, some did not have a single euro left over to cover their needs, while problems are also found in the ELGA regulation which cannot cover 100% of damages.
Farmers in Thessaly are talking about survival demands that must be implemented by the government, such as: an immediate timetable for draining the areas of the former Lake Karla, immediate payment of first aid money to all and full compensation of farmers who farmed in affected areas until their fields become productive again. Also, it is the responsibility of the state mechanism to immediately restore dams, embankments and advance modern anti-flooding projects, as well as to remove the large quantities of portable materials that have accumulated, to proceed with the necessary actions to restore the areas of arable land. Finally, to exempt those affected from ENFIA and various insurance contributions and to freeze their debts for as long as they are unable to pay them, together with higher compensations based on the loss of income and the prices of this year’s production.
In addition to the myriad problems faced by producers, some are even threatened with power cuts, as revealed by SYRIZA’s head of Rural Development, Vassilis Kokkalis. In his statement, he spoke of farmers and breeders with overdue debts who are being harassed and threatened by PPC for cutting off electricity to their already damaged and flooded pumping stations without electricity for two months.