Slightly more than one year ago, agricultural workers employed in strawberry fields in Manolada, in Greece, were shot at by foremen when they went to demand their unpaid salaries. These abuses carried out on a large agricultural holding producing strawberries for export revealed the disgraceful situation of migrant seasonal workers within Greek industrial agriculture.
The Patras court, which was tasked with the preliminary proceedings and prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime, has just rendered a dismaying verdict:
· dismissal of the case for the owner of the agricultural holding;
· revocable prison sentences for the foremen, who are now free.
If the legal proceedings launched by the workers and their lawyers were to stop here, this would signal the development of a disturbing jurisprudence that grants impunity for the mafia practises of the bosses of industrial agriculture and shows a total contempt for the fundamental rights of workers.
The Confédération paysanne, and the European Coordination Via Campesina:
· support the wronged workers and their local support groups;
· will continue to support any additional legal procedure to obtain redress;
· ask European institutions to guarantee the respect of the rights of all workers, regardless of their status;
· insist that a true social conditionality be enshrined in the texts of the CAP.
In addition, Confédération paysanne and European Coordination Via Campesina reaffirm that the industrial and productivist agricultural model in no guarantee whatsoever for the income of millions of small European peasants and small-holding farmers, and ask that the principle of food sovereignty be finally recognized and enshrined in international law.
Nicolas Duntze : 06 77 74 86 49
Romain Balandier : 06 13 38 18 28
Andrea Ferrante : +39 34 80 18 92 21