Ten farmers have summoned to prosecutor in Larissa to be tried on charges of obstructing traffic due to the highway blockade in Nikaia inter-junction on Tuesday. Dozens of farmers moved their tractors to Athens-Thessaloniki highway since Monday demanding better labor conditions.
The persecution has triggered an outrage. Unionists from the Nikaia blockage denounce the government describing the action as “unprecedented.”
The President of the Association of Rural Associations of the Prefecture of Larissa Rizos Maroudas said that this is an unprecedented incident. He argued that it is “the first time that they send us to court without an apology, as this is the usual legal procedure in such cases.”
“The aim of this action is to terrorize the farmers in the blockade but also to criminalize the struggles,” Maroudas stressed.
“Some want to propose the prime minister for the Nobel Peace Prize. We suggest that he will be given the “Nobel of Autocracy,” Maroudas added.
Although the unionists blame the government for the persecution, the political leadership expressed its objection. Both the minister and the deputy minister for Agriculture and Rural Development seemed surprise, with Minister Stavros Arachovitis to say that “farmers should not be persecuted for their unionist struggle.” Deputy minister Vassilis kokkalis said “it is legitimate, however also hasty and contrary to the presumption of innocence.”
Angered about the legal adventure, the farmers are preparing to intensify their protests.