February 26, 2024

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Disappearance of farmers

Disappearance of farmers

Written by Kostas Stupas

1) The disappearance of farmers

Farmer mobilization is nothing new neither in Greece nor in Europe. What has left an impression this year is the simultaneous mobilization across the length and breadth of the European Union.

European Union. He wants to reduce subsidies and impose rules regarding the “green” transition and the quality of the products produced.

This means an increase in already high production costs in an industry that does not attract young people and does not follow the digital automation revolution.

At the same time, for foreign policy reasons, the E.U. Leaves imports from Ukraine free. Ukraine has lower labor costs and lower production costs because there are no strict standards imposed on EU countries.

At the same time, Europe wants to sell medicines, machinery and other products with increased value-added to Latin American countries. But for this to happen, imports from these countries must be left free.

Lemons from Argentina, garlic from Mexico, and wine from Chile arrive at European ports at prices lower than the cost of production borne by the European farmer.

Generous subsidies provided by the state and society made up most of the difference. Now it should be limited.

There are two ways in which the agricultural problem in Europe can be dealt with.

The first is from a purely financial point of view. You let comparative advantage do its work. This means that the consumer's choice of the best at the cheapest prices will lead to the extinction of most European farmers.

This will likely lead to divestment in agricultural land, which will drive down prices and create an opportunity for companies to accumulate large tracts of land. In the future, economies of scale and automation may put European agricultural production back on the world map.

However, this economically conventional choice carries risks related to geopolitics.

Since after 2008 we are moving away from the time when the Earth seemed flat to us due to globalization, without trade barriers and borders, the question of self-sufficiency arises.

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During the pandemic when everyone was “fighting” for ventilators and priority in the supply of vaccines, this became seriously understandable.

Geopolitics, and the competition it requires between countries and regions, now forces governments to think in terms of self-sufficiency in food and other basic goods.

Imposing protectionist measures would improve the incomes of European farmers, but this would be at the expense of European consumers. The latter will have to pay higher prices for food.

Africans and Asians, if deprived of income from cheap agricultural exports to Europe, may attempt to migrate to Europe.

If the E.U. If we take measures against cheap imports of agricultural products, the countries of Latin America, Africa and Asia will take measures against European exports of machinery, chemicals, etc. The damage to Europe will be greater because the agricultural sector in any case represents a small proportion of GDP.

There seems to be no easy solution. The truth is that there is no solution in sight.

The problem is not in Greece, Germany, or France, but rather throughout Europe. This is proven by a comment by Latvian journalist Toms Lucis on Tvnet. He says farmers should be treated like private entrepreneurs:

“Has the summer been too dry? Country, give me some compensation!”

Is summer too humid? Where is my compensation?

Regards, compensation, please!

The state simply takes its wallet. Then the next year, when the weather is perfect and farmers achieve a record harvest, they celebrate.

… They don't owe the state anything… Agriculture is not a statewide charity run by altruists for the sole purpose of feeding a starving population.

The rest of Latvia does not need to be constantly and unconditionally grateful to farmers. “It is a private enterprise whose main goal is ultimately to make money.”

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2) What they do to the sailors

Dear Mr. Stopa,

On the occasion of the allocation of the 100 euros allocated by the government to retired sailors, captains and engineers as a one-time increase for the year 2024 and the statements of two former ministers that sailors owe a debt of gratitude to the state for having retired for them while their fund is theirs, I just wanted to write you this letter.

I am asking you to spread this message because there is misinformation and lack of information in the public opinion regarding seafarers' contributions to the Naval Relief Fund (NAF) and their length of service until retirement.

The legislator set sailors to retire at the age of fifty and work for 23 years, given the conditions of the profession. Contributions to pensions, benefits, health and lump sum are in multiples of 23 years, and by comparison self-employed Class 6 contributions are over 40 years.

Mr. A (who before reaching this rank completed 5 years as Cadet – Secondary Captain – Secondary Captain) paid and is being paid today in 2024:

Master’s A year 18 x 12 months x 2,225.30 = 480,664.80

cum 2 x 1,162.86 = 27,908.64

Case “2” x 1,011.41 = 24,273.84

Student “1” x 320.00 = 3,840.00


Total €536,687.28

Free professions, sixth category

Basic retirement years 40 x 12 months x 654.80 = 314,304.00

Valid “X” X 63.79 = 30,619.20

Lump sum “X” X 42.15 = 20,232.00


Total €365,155.20

Doctors, lawyers, engineers with five special years

Basic retirement years 5 x 12 months x 153.54 = 9,212.40

” ” ” 35 x ” x 654.80 = 275,016.00

Actual “40 x ” x 63.79 = 30,619.20

Lump sum “40 x” x 42.15 = 20,232.00


Total €335,079.60

Can EFKA, as a competent organisation, tell us what pensions are received by those who have representatives in Parliament, so that we can compare them with the additional €1,259.42 and €322.00 for which in 1983 it paid 1,200,000.00 drachmas (one million two hundred A) One billion drachmas are taxable at source and on total income.

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NAT previously had a few hundred million dollars of interest-free reserves in the Bank of Greece and, along with reserves of other funds, paid off people's other than pension accounts, something that had never happened in any European country.

Greek pensioners were left without a pension for several months, there was a reservation for NAT, the problem government left, the ND government came and solved the problem of seafarers' pensions by including them in the state budget.

The NAT had and still has collections and mismanagement insulting the sailors as well as the €100 allowance, and they are not children of a lower god, they provided foreign currency to the homeland when it needed it just like the immigrants.

Now I return to the topic of shipowners who operate 5,500 ships of all classes, most of them with the latest shipbuilding technologies and are trying to attract young people to the maritime profession after experiencing many nationalities to remind them where today's shipping came from.

With the end of World War II, in 1945, the American government, with a guarantee from the Greek government, granted shipowners at that time 100 freedoms, which they paid for. These ships were specially designed for the Murmansk voyage in the North Sea between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Greeks kept them 25 years old because they ran them with Greek sailors and plowed the world's oceans until the lunch insurance companies pulled them out.

This was peak shipping today and I ask what the ship owners were doing for retired sailors (preparing lemonade cups)? Have they written any letters to pension agencies trying to attract young people?? Don't they know that retirees are the best or worst advertisers in the business?


Kostas Gionis

Retired captain

[email protected]