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Farmers respond to minister: We didn’t ask for support from state budget

Minister of Agriculture Vladimir Bolea’s assertion that the 200 million lei identified for farmers was taken from children and older persons is irresponsible and manipulative, said representatives of the Association “Force of Farmers”. According to them, the farmers didn’t ask for support from the state budget. More exactly, they requested the Government to ask the EU to provide financial support to the Moldovan agricultural producers, IPN reports.

“Mister Bolea knows better than any citizen that the farmers back in the autumn of 2022 called on the Government to request the European Union to provide financial support to the agricultural producers of the Republic of Moldova, which were simultaneously affected by multiple crises. Countries from the Black Sea Basin, such as Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary, acted namely like this. We note that the farmers didn’t ask that support should be provided from internal state budget funds or from funds intended for children and older persons, as the minister declared. It is a big question why the responsible persons didn’t do their job and put off addressing the EU for nine months. We didn’t see someone answering for this act of sabotage,” the Association said in a press release.

According to representatives of the “Force of Farmers”, with a big delay, the minister of agriculture recently sought about 1.2 billion lei in financial support from Brussels for overcoming the unprecedented crisis witnessed in agriculture. The Association proposed reducing this sum to 700 million lei on condition that the emergency support is provided exclusively to micro-, small- and medium-sized farmers. Moreover, the farmers agreed that the first rescue tranche should be in the amount of 350 million lei. The farmers also draw attention to the fact that the identified sum of 200 million lei is not much higher than the money allocated for increasing the salaries of ministers and secretaries of state. But nobody refuses to have the salary doubled “on account of children and pensioners”.

“The minister knows all the figures of a catastrophe that is already hitting micro-, small- and medium-sized farmers. These people no longer have reserves to endure for two consecutive years the large-scale crisis in the sector. The farmers currently struggle for economic survival and to save the villages,” said the Association.

Its representatives warn that the irresponsible and populist statements of high-ranking officials are very dangerous and cause only tensions in society.

In a TV program, Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Bolea, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, said the money identified for supporting the farmers who protested in the Great National Assembly Square was taken from children and older persons. He rejected the farmers’ ultimatum and said that the Government is looking for new funds to help the farmers. He assured that the regulations on the provision of subsidies are being designed and the 200 million lei promised to farmers will be soon distribution through the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture.

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