Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, on the occasion of the decision by the Serres police director to ban farmers' gatherings near the Promahonas border checkpoint, sharply criticised the government over its agricultural and social policy.
Samaras, in an address in Parliament, referred to the "swelling of the indignation of the farmers' world," that is leading the government to "unprecedented methods of intimidation and suppression."
Samaras added "you have increased the cost of production, you have increased prices for agricultural electric power, you have increased VAT, you have increased the prices of fuel and you have increased contributions to ELGA."
The main opposition party leader also proceeded with an overall denunciation of government policy, stressing "it has joined the neoliberal myth that there shall be automatic growth, when everything becomes sand and earth, on a dissolved economy and society."
Samaras went on to say "just as we rejected the Memorandum-I, in the same way we also reject what is now taken for granted for the Memorandum-II, that will last much longer and will have much stricter policy commitments," adding "if you want consensus in asphyxiation, you must look for it elsewhere."
Replying, Agricultural Development Minister Costas Skandalidis rejected accusations by Samaras on "exorbitant authoritarianism", the "implementation of junta methods" and "mockery of the agricultural world."
Skandalidis also said "I have toured all of Greece three times in five months and we discussed everything. Where did Mr. Samaras see the uprising of the agricultural world, authoritarianism and 'junta methods'. Does this year have anything to do with the previous ones. Does it have anything to do with the farmers' demands at Promahonas, for even a 15 percent VAT return and the competely untaxed oil, that it would be impossible to be implemented by any government?"