Over 5,000 farmers, members of the League of Romanian Agricultural Producers (LAPAR), protested on Tuesday in Bucharest in order to obtain their legitimate rights from the Government and Parliament.
LAPAR Vice President Constantin Bazon stated that the Romanian farmers’ immediate demands include the Finance Ministry urgently adopting, in collaboration with the Agriculture Ministry, the methodological norms of the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. “In the absence of these norms, no farmer can plan his annual or multiannual activity, as the authorities encourage us to do,” Bazon said.
The protesters’ list of demands also included: the elimination of the tax on European subsidies, the adoption of immediate measures that would limit the sale of farmland to EU and non-EU citizens, Parliament abrogating the law that concerns hunting, and the presence of Romanian products on the shelves of large supermarkets.
In their turn, sheep and cattle farmers demand the urgent payment of subsidies left unpaid in 2015.
“They haven’t paid the 2015 subsidies although we have filed the requests. We bring attention to law no.321 concerning Romanian products, which in fact are made using other imported products and only their label says made in Romania. We want the hunting law abrogated. It is suspended now, but we want it abrogated,” a cattle farmer from Bihor County stated.
Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu came before the protesters, promising them that they will have the Government’s support in having their demands met. The farmers will receive subsidies in full by the end of June, and next week the Ministry of Agriculture will host a discussion on the law on sale of farmland to foreigners, Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu told on Tuesday protesters in Bucharest’s Izvor Park, near the Parliament Palace. Romanian farmers have been protesting since noon against the delay of payment of subsidies and the postponement of some essential laws.
‘We already have a project under discussion [on the sale of farmland] but I expect you, the representatives of producers, to come and agree upon it together, because it is a law mainly to your benefit. It is a must to consult, as we always consulted with you and with the Parliament and its two committees of agriculture on all legislative acts. It is very important for a law not to be passed without your consent. I propose that we agree next week on a draft law to promote as fast as possible,’ said Achim Irimescu.
Asked whether farmers would receive their subsidies, the agriculture minister replied, ‘Absolutely.’