Labour Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, Rural Development Minister Evangelos Apostolou and Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis on Friday held a press conference on farmers’ tax and social security system.
During the press conference Mr. Katrougalos reiterated the main lines of the draft which ‘slaughters’ the small and medium-sized enterprises, protects only the very poor and encourages tax evasion.
He also reiterated that only those with up to 12,000 euros income will not be negatively affected saying that “the reform, the contributions and the pensions favor anyone with 1,000 euros net income”.
Mr. Katrougalos also said that he is willing to discuss the transitional period of changes for farmers concerning the increase in their contributions “as long as we won’t retreat from our basic lines: no second-class citizens, the principle of equal rights and the principle of social justice. ”
Asked why farmers are protesting, he replied “it is reasonable to worry after five years of memorandum. It’s okay to worry, but check our proposals”, while he added “The basic rules of fairness also apply to farmers who are entitled to have a healthy social security fund,”.
Moreover, Labour Minister lashed out at Proto Thema newspaper when a journalist of Proto Thema asked him about the guaranteed minimum income and when the bill on social security reform will be tabled.
Instead of providing clarifications, Mr. Katrougalos decided to answer insulting and attacking Proto Thema newspaper and its online version protothema.gr accusing it of misinforming the public and argued that publications on drastic pension reductions of up to 17% asked by Greece’s creditors are not true.
Mr. Alexiadis dismissed speculations over a tax storm on farmers. “The government promotes a fairer system,” he stressed.
On his part, Apostolou called on farmers to look at the next day. “The rural development programme needs to be specialised and be discussed with the farmers. Dialogue is a one-way road,” he underlined.