170 Tractors of Protesting Farmers Head to Bulgaria's Capital

Society | December 4, 2011, Sunday // 12:10|  views

Over the week, Bulgarian farmers took on the roads thousands of machines in sign of protest against budget cuts and actions of Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov. Photo by BGNES

Tractors and equipment of protesting Bulgarian farmers from the Veliko Tarnovo, Lovech and Pleven regions are going to head to the capital Sofia at noon Monday.

The farmers say they will not use the Hemus highway, but back roads in order to not impede traffic. They are expected to arrive in the capital around 9 pm. About 170 farming machines will stage a procession in downtown Sofia – it will pass before the buildings of the Parliament and the Council of Ministries.

Over the week, Bulgarian farmers staged nation-wide protests.

Each year farmers receive EU subsidy, which is determined by the size of their land. The amount slated for 2012 is over BGN 830 M. There are also BGN 110 M in the State budget for grain producers, BGN 71 M for animal keepers and BGN 73 M for tobacco growers.

Grain producers, however, demand another BGN 230 M in the national treasury. The discontent escalated after the passing in the Parliament, at first reading, the draft 2012 budget, where the amount was lower than what was promised by these BGN 230 M. A month before the October 23 local and presidential elections, the cabinet and the farming associations signed a financial frame, which included BGN 570 M for the farming sector.

The farmers accuse Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, of suffering from amnesia and discarding his own signature.

On Sunday, their representatives told the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, they now knew they would not get any more money, but will keep protesting in demanding the resignations of Djankov and Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov.

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Tags: tractors, sofia, procession, Miroslav Naydenov, block, thoroughfares, cross-border checkpoints, tobacco growers, animal keepers, grain producers, subsidy, budget, Strike, protest, machines, farmers, Simeon Djankov


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