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Farmers’ protests

Romania to get extra EU funding for farmers affected by the imports of cheap cereals from Ukraine.

Farmers’ protests
Farmers’ protests

, 31.03.2023, 14:00

Insignificant – is how the Romanian agriculture minister
described the support received by Romania from the European Commission to
compensate for the losses suffered by local farmers following the massive
influx of cheap cereals from Ukraine.




The Commission decided to unblock 56 million euros
from its crisis reserves to offset economic losses and limit unbalances on the
markets in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Poland is to receive 30 million euros,
Bulgaria over 16 million, and Romania 10 million euros, which is very little
compared with the amount of losses incurred.




President Klaus Iohannis, who was in Brussels for a
recent meeting of the European Council, called on the Commission to reassess
the aid. The Commission must take into account that Romania made sacrifices to
facilitate the export of Ukrainian cereals, said Iohannis, adding that he found
it very strange for the European Commission to use formulas in such cases
instead of negotiations.




Only a few days later, agriculture minister Petre Daea
this week announced that the initial aid of 10 million euros would be
supplemented by another support mechanism. According to Radio Romania’s
correspondent in Brussels, who is citing official sources, 75 million euros
will be distributed among Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as Hungary and
Slovakia. The talks over the share each country is going to get will begin
soon, so the five states must provide as much data and arguments as possible in
order to attract more funding. At first sight, Romania may get another 15-20
million euros, putting the total sum at between 25 and 30 million.




Meanwhile, in order to maintain pressure on local and
European decision-makers, farmers are taking to the street. The movement of
goods through several Romanian-Bulgarian border checkpoints has been very busy
these days, with truck drivers waiting for hours for routine formalities. The
reason for this were the protests staged by Bulgarian farmers, unhappy that
cheap, duty-free agricultural products from Ukraine have flooded the Bulgarian
markets.




One of the world’s biggest grain exporters, Ukraine
saw its Black Sea ports blocked following the Russian invasion and had to find
alternative transport routes. Except that large quantities of cereals, cheaper
than those produced in the European Union, made their way to central European
markets, affecting prices and the sales of local farmers. The European
Commission, determined to help Ukraine all the way through, must now find
solutions for its own farmers. A joint protest of farmers from all the
countries affected is scheduled for 7th April. (CM)

Photo: geralt / pixabay.com
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