"With Talks, Both Sides Win" - Bulgaria’s PM thanked the Farmers and Energy WorkersPolitics | September 20, 2023, Wednesday // 11:03| views
All the energy and agriculture decisions taken yesterday are in line with the government's priorities and it has reached agreements with the protesters without making any concessions. This was stated by Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov at the beginning of the meeting of the Council of Ministers.
He thanked the protesting manufacturers and energy companies for engaging in talks with the cabinet and finding solutions.
"In such cases, during negotiations, both parties win, because everyone benefits from the decisions. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers to allocate 63 million leva in addition to grain producers is part of the general agrarian policy of the state. The decision to delay the import of sunflower (from Ukraine) is, on the one hand, to realize the production of Bulgarian farmers, and on the other - to provide the necessary raw material for oil processors and for people to see affordable prices," said Denkov.
According to him, the tension of recent days is due to the accumulated mistrust of the political class. He stated that from now on the cabinet will make specific commitments only when it can fulfill them. They will be written documents and signed by government officials so that they know who is responsible.
"This is the way we will act. Everything else is populism. This is the populism with which the people have been lied to and with which they are dissatisfied."
The farmers remain in protest readiness
Bulgarian farmers remain in protest readiness. On Tuesday, a contact group broadcast by the industry met with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and representatives of the cabinet. The talks lasted several hours, and the decision was - that imports from Ukraine will not be allowed until specific quotas are agreed upon. The protesters were also promised that by the end of September, they would be paid all the government subsidies they were owed.
“We agreed that at 4:30 a.m. we would gather here and go to the yellow cobblestones. So it happened that two or three of them agreed to go to the hotels, get some sleep and come back at 10 o'clock to lie to us again. Nobody here knows what's going on. We must be united and not divided into some groups. We were writhing all night in the tractors", said a representative of vegetable producers from the branch organizations.
According to the plan, at 5 o'clock this morning, the tractors were supposed to go to the yellow cobblestones in the center of Sofia, but shortly before midnight, it became clear that the heavy machines will remain in the parking lot of Dolni Bogrov until the signing of a memorandum with the authorities. This is expected to happen today.
Simeon Karakolev from the Bulgarian Agrarian Chamber explained the situation. "We listened to the government's proposals, we discussed them. Discussions continued until midnight last night. We expect everything to be presented in the form of a memorandum, with precise parameters. We are waiting for the finance minister to give a budget for the de minimis program and to clarify the period for which a ban will be imposed on the import of certain crops until a quota regime is worked out. At 10 a.m. the Initiative Committee is meeting to decide how we will proceed," he said.
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