Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video Video

Greek farmers clash with police during protest

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 01:45

Clashes have erupted in central Athens between farmers and police during a protest over pension and tax reforms. As Sonia Legg reports, there are fears the crisis over the bailout is also re-igniting.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

They'd come a long way to make their point. Their farms in Crete a different world to the streets of Athens. More than a 1,000 farmers demonstrated about the austerity measures demanded by Greece's lenders - low prices and the removal of tax breaks on fuel and fertilizer, among their complaints. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) CRETAN FARMER YIANNIS KLIRONOMOU, SAYING: "They must change the tax and pension reforms, in order to give incentives to the sector so we can work. They don't want us to work, they want to kill us off, and take us out of Europe." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESIDENT OF A LOCAL CRETAN FARMERS ASSOCIATION, MANOLIS ORFANOUDAKIS, SAYING: "In one word? Catastrophe, it's a catastrophe, production costs are so ridiculously high we can't produce anything for a price consumers can afford." Tempers quickly flared and the police moved in. Many protestors want the government out - blaming them for their hardship after agreeing to a multi-million euro bailout. The latest instalment of the 86 billion euro loan still hasn't been released, reviving fears of another debt crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, JUSTIN URQUHART-STEWART, SAYING: "You're not going to be able to cancel the debt because otherwise everyone else will put their hands up and say what about us, so the real issue is to reschedule that debt so a 20-year debt becomes a 100 years, 120 years - that would be a logical thing to do." That's one idea - an entirely new approach is another. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT, JUSTIN URQUHART-STEWART, SAYING: "Something more imaginative of course which has been tried elsewhere, years ago in Belgium and also South Africa, would be to actually split the currency, so still maintain the euro but default to a domestic currency maybe called something imaginative like the - I don't know - the drachma! That would allow this economy to start to grow." That's what these farmers want to do. They protest instead because they say pension payments are killing them too - one farmer saying his income has been cut by 75 percent.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Greek farmers clash with police during protest

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 - 01:45