Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis embarked on a tour of Thessaly, in central Greece, where he had successive meetings with farmers to discuss their problems and concerns.
Mitsotakis stressed his belief in the potential of the rural economy and the farming sector, saying that Greece was in a time of transition from large subsidised crops to more dynamic and competitive agriculture that was focused on the needs of consumers.
“What does the end consumer want? That we grow products of high quality, which are competitive and finally lucrative for the farmers working in the primary sector,” he said.
He cited the example of his earlier visit to a farm producing sea-buckthorn and noted that this innovative product had proved extremely profitable for the farmers that had chosen to cultivate it. “This small example shows the future… well-organised production groups aiming for quality products that can be packaged and sent to markets in Greece and abroad,” he said, while noting that this would also require the support of the state and an organised policy.
Mitsotakis repeated his pledge for reduced VAT on farming equipment and supplies to 13 pct, from the current 24 pct, noting that the government had finally adopted this proposal under strong ND pressure.
ND’s leader visited the village of Karpochori and attended the opening of a prefecture-level ND branch office in Karditsa, while he is due to visit Pertouli in Trikala on Sunday for the 37th Panhellenic Meeting of Sarakatsani Societies.