Bulgarian Farmers, Cabinet Agree on Halting Protests

Domestic | March 22, 2011, Tuesday // 14:50|  views

Finance Ministers Simeon Djankov (front) and Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, arrive for talks with disgruntled grain growers. Photo by BGNES

The Association of Bulgaria's Grain Producers and the cabinet managed to reach an agreement Tuesday to stop farmers' protests and blockades in the country.

The agreement was made possible by the Agriculture Ministry's commitment to pay, by April 30, all direct subsidies from the European Union and from the State budget to farmers who do not owe taxes. In addition, a Committee will begin functioning on May 1 to deal with complaints related to the payment of the subsidies.

The probe and check of the memorandum between the cabinet and the country's grain growers to find out what clauses have not been executed and who is responsible is going to be launched and sanctions will be imposed if there are improprieties. The probe was ordered by Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov.

The grain growers have also reached an agreement with the cabinet over another one of their demands – to lobby before the EU to lower the excise duty on fuels for Bulgarian farmers.

On Monday, farmers staged blockades across the country as sign of protest against unpaid subsidies.

The Association's leadership initially declined meeting with Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, and Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, saying they would talk only to Borisov, but at the end began negotiating with the two Ministers while Borisov joined later.

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Tags: farmers, grain growers, Miroslav Naydenov, subsidies, protets, processions, Simeon Djankov, Boyko Borisov, Association of Bulgaria's Grain Producers, Radoslav Hristov


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