Bulgaria Tobacco Producers Cancel Protests

Domestic | January 28, 2010, Thursday // 08:33|  views

Bulgarian tobacco producers, unhappy with their subsidy guarantees, blocked the border checkpoints with Greece in December last year. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian tobacco producers have postponed their planned rally against low subsidies, following a meeting with the prime minister late on Wednesday.

“We will do our best to help this important sector of our agriculture, so that it receives sufficient funding both from EU projects and from the state budget. It is very important that we managed to reach an agreement not only on the problems concerning tobacco producers but also the entire country,” Boyko Borisov said after the meeting, which closed shortly after midnight.

More than 20 000 Bulgarian tobacco producers were about to hit the streets Thursday morning, planning to blockade the Danube Bridge crossing to Romania, and the border checkpoints with Greece.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has accused the Socialist opposition party of fueling the riots.

The tobacco growers are insisting on guaranteed payments decreed by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers and authorized by the European Commission earlier in January. The total subsidy agreed for the 2009 crop amounts to EUR 116 M, the maximum allowed.

The growers continue to press their demand to maintain the bonus per produced kilo, which is inconsistent with the amount on offer.

This concession had been finally agreed after the Bulgarian tobacco producers had mounted a series of mass protests throughout December.

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Tags: tobacco producers, mass protests, Bulgaria, Romania, greece, border crossing point, Miroslav Naydenov, Boyko Borisov


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