Bulgarian Stock Breeders Complain of Refused Loans over Political Crisis

Business | August 5, 2013, Monday // 17:32|  views

Boyko Sinapov, Chair of the National Association of Stock Breeders, photo by BGNES

Boyko Sinapov, Chair of the National Association of Stock Breeders, has complained that banks are refusing loans to the sector because they have not been presented guarantees by the government for the budget for subsidies in 2013.

In a Monday media statement, Sinapov claimed that farmers were calling the office of the Association to express worries that they could not find sufficient funding to buy fodder for the winter.

"Banking institutions obviously have no faith in the government and refuse to lend money to stock breeders like they did in the past," he declared.

He even suggested that most financial institutions explained that the head offices of foreign banks had issued instructions banning loans to businesses in Bulgaria due to the bad political situation in the country.

"None of the livestock breeders has seen the budget of the sector and the amount of allocations. In previous years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food provided guarantees to banks about the budget and its distribution. So far, the current government has taken no such steps," he added.

Sinapov explained that farmers had been issued certificates by the State Fund Agriculture for the applications for subsidies they had filed, which they presented to banks.

He noted, however, that the banks demanded additional guarantees from the Agriculture Ministry in order to give loans.

"This time last year, stock breeders received assistance under "de minimis", while now there is nothing," he added.

In end-June, some 30 stock breeders staged a protest in front of the Agriculture Ministry over the lack of communication with the new government.

They demanded assurances that the subsidies for the autumn and winter of 2013 had been guaranteed.

The Agriculture Ministry rejected accusations of disrupted dialogue with stock breeders and explained that the national complementary payments to the EU subsidies for livestock breeders for 2013 had been secured, amounting to BGN 144 M, up by BGN 4 M from 2012.

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Tags: Agriculture Ministry, subsidies, livestock breeding, Bulgarian government, protests, de minimis, loans


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