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Thursday, July 7, 2022

The Farmers Have Had Enough; They Threatened the Government With a Protest With Tractors

By: Ana Hribar / Nova24tv

“If we will not be successful, we will have no choice but to come to Ljubljana with our tractors,” warned Anton Medved, the President of the Slovenian Farmers’ Union, who hopes that the new government will also listen to the farmers while setting up the working group to prepare measures to tackle the high cost of energy and food. The farmers have warned that they do not have enough reserves and that they have not been able to cover all of their costs for a long time now.

Several meetings are expected to take place this week, at which the representatives of the government and the energy providers and trade companies will try to find a way to prevent the main burden of higher prices from being borne solely by the customers. However, farmers are not expecting anything good to come out of this, as they are already afraid of the possible lowering of purchase prices and warn that they do not have enough reserves and also that they have not been able to cover all of their costs with their purchase prices for a long time now. If the government does not listen to them, they warn that they will be forced to choose a different approach to this.

The final document with measures will be prepared by the end of June
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the working group, which includes Prime Minister Robert Golob and three other ministers, namely, Minister of Economic Development and Technology Matjaž Han, Minister of Infrastructure Bojan Kumer and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Irena Šinko, will talk about the content and timetable for the measures to tackle the high food and energy prices. The final document with measures to tackle the rising prices should be prepared by the end of June. Golob and some of the ministers also announced that the government would respond to high energy and food prices in two steps – first, with stakeholders, such as food and energy traders, with whom they would first try to come to an agreement on sharing the burden of reducing the high price burden for households and businesses. If they will be unsuccessful, the first step will be followed by the second, which is the regulation of prices.

The government’s strategy is to reach an agreement on controlling the price, together with all key stakeholders in the food, energy and raw materials sectors. The goal, however, is to distribute the burdens among all shareholders vertically. To this end, meetings with the Prime Minister will also be organised, and a constructive dialogue with the state for proper price regulation is also expected from the energy company Petrol, which sells electricity and gas, Slovenian Press Agency reports. Namely, Petrol finds the temporarily set prices to be disproportionate, as the situation is further exacerbated by the embargo on Russian oil imports by sea, while the state continues to collect full duties.

Farmers announce a protest with tractors
However, farmers are the ones who are most concerned about the upcoming measures, as they are already afraid of the lowering of purchase prices and warn that they do not have reserves and that they have not been able to cover all of their costs with their purchase prices for a long time now. According to the Slovenian Press Agency, the President of the Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises, Janez Reberc, said that their sales are worse when food prices rise and that the first indicator for forecasting prices will be the wheat harvest. Meanwhile, the President of the Slovenian Farmers’ Union, Anton Medved, hopes that the government will listen to the farmers because otherwise, they will be forced to choose a different approach to this.

“The first step is definitely a discussion. But if we will not be successful, we will have no choice but to come to Ljubljana with our tractors,” he warned. Last year, farmers were already protesting against the strategic plan of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union for the period from 2023 to 2027, as they thought it allocates too little money to agriculture.

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