Outraged Bulgarian Farmers Accuse Govt of Manipulating Public
In a strong statement, Bulgaria's National Association of Grain Producers has demanded urgent measures for guaranteeing the competitiveness of Bulgarian agriculture, and has slammed what it sees as broken promises of the Borisov Cabinet.
The reaction of the farmers comes a year after large-scale protests staged by their organization in December 2011 with demands for better subsidies and government support for agriculture that were ended with an agreement with the Cabinet regarding the financial framework for the sector until 2014.
According to the declaration of the Grain Producers' Association, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov have made commitments regarding subsidies for 2011-2014 but later "the Finance Minister rescinded his signature, and the agriculture minister and prime minister didn't do anything."
"Instead of analyzing the problems that caused the angry protest of the Bulgarian agricultural producers," those in power funded a media campaign for discrediting the Bulgarian agricultural producers," the Grain Producers' Association explained in its declaration.
The organization adds further that the sector's problem remain unresolved while the government keeps manipulating the public opinion in that respect by staging populist moves.
As a counter-measure, on December 6, 2012, the assembly of the Governing Board of the Association has moved to organize national debates about each political party's political programs for the agriculture sector.
The farmers appear to be concerned gravely by the failure of the Bulgarian Agriculture Ministry to defend Bulgaria's position in the EU for the need to equalize the EU Common Agricultural Policy subsidies for all agricultural producers in the new seven-year budget framework of the union for 2014-2020 as at present the Bulgarian farmers' subsidies are lower than those of farmers in Western Europe which makes their products less competitive.
The National Association of Bulgarian Grain Producers has further declared "intolerance" towards the government's said policies and demands urgent measures to guarantee that the Bulgarian farmers will have a chance to be internationally competitive.