WORKERS and small farmers are in occupation for over a week now of the large state owned EBZ sugar-beets factory in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, against closure.
EBZ workers are also demanding payment of wages while small farmers want payment for sugar-beets delivered to the factory last year.
Last Monday EBZ workers and small farmers demonstrated in Thessaloniki.
The President of the EBZ workers’ trade union Khristosoulos Varkaris stated that ‘we demand that the leaders of the political parties support our demands for the continuation of production and full payment to workers and small farmers’.
The President of the Central Macedonia Sugar-beets Producers Association Pavlos Boyannides said that 4,000 small farmers are owned on average about £4,000 each.
Sugar-beets producers are facing total disaster if the EBZ Thessaloniki factory is closed. But last year two other EBZ factories in northern Greece were closed down on government orders. Then trade union leaders refused to mobilise workers and small farmers.
Now both workers’ and small farmers’ leaders stated that they hope to meet the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras to ask him to keep the EBZ factory open.
Opinion polls in the Greek Press show that SYRIZA is almost certain to win an overall majority in the Vouli (Greek parliament) at next Sunday’s general election.