Bulgarian Tobacco Growers to Protest Lack of EU Subsidies for 2014-2020 PeriodBusiness | July 11, 2013, Thursday // 09:10| views
Asen Kichukov, Deputy Chair of the National Association of Tobacco Growers, photo by BGNES
Bulgarian tobacco growers plan to stage a protest on Thursday, blocking a number of border crossing points to voice their discontent over the country's failure to negotiate direct EU subsidies for the next programming period.
According to Asen Kichukov, Deputy Chair of the National Association of Tobacco Growers, as cited by Sega daily, all Member States producing tobacco receive EU subsidies except for Bulgaria, which constitutes discrimination.
Tobacco growers are to block a number of border crossing points at 10:30 am on Thursday, and the most large-scale protest is expected to be at Danube Bridge, where Agriculture Minister Dimitar Grekov is expected to arrive to alleviate tensions.
The other road blocks are to be staged at the Ilinden and Svilengrad border crossing points, according to reports of Darik radio.
According to industry representatives, the protest is economically, not politically motivated.
At present, Bulgarian tobacco growers receive subsidies from the state budget, while their colleagues from other Member States have been guaranteed direct subsidies from the EU budget for the 2014-2020 programming period.
Bulgarian vegetable growers, who are complaining of devastatingly low purchase prices and dumping, are expected to join the protest of tobacco growers.
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