By: Ana Gužvič (Nova24tv.si)
Farmers’ displeasure at being ignored by the government has sparked a series of demands on pressing issues in agriculture. Fifteen demands were raised at the nationwide protest. The first of them is that the new environmental requirements do not exceed the realistic capabilities of farming. They also require the re-examination and reduction of Natura 2000 areas and ecologically important areas, areas of sensitive permanent grassland, and the transfer of said areas to areas where they do not restrict agricultural production. Instead of concrete solutions, they got a working group from the government that will examine open issues. It is obvious that they are empty promises again, as no concrete changes are expected, especially Natura 2000. If there is no change in three weeks, the farmers will continue their protests, they announced.
“If we do not see the guidelines within three weeks, we will announce further protests,” explained the president of the Farmers’ Union of Slovenia, Anton Medved. As Medved said, the working group reviewed 15 requests regarding pressing problems in agriculture. We got a “guarantee” from Golob that there will be no real estate tax in two years. But we are already used to these assurances and promises from Robert Golob, but not their realisation.
Slovenia’s food security must not be subordinated to “environmental adventures”
In addition to the aforementioned, the farmers’ union also demands the implementation of climate and environmental measures written in the strategic plan of the common agricultural policy in such a way that they are accessible to the farmer, useful, feasible, and sustainable. It also requires clear and simple implementation conditions and administratively undemanding measures that are achievable and feasible for the farmer. It also demands that Slovenia’s food security is a priority – it must not be subordinated to “environmental adventures”, that no new taxes be introduced, as additional tax pressures on farmers limit the development of farms.
Natura 2000 restricts farmers from mowing, but not Janković from building sewers
With regard to the management of Natura 2000 areas, guidelines should be reached that will, in the short term, in 2023, bring closer views with farmers, and solutions that will not interfere with the agricultural practices that already exist in these areas at the moment, summarised Minister Anton Brežan. The European Union’s Natura 2000 network stipulates that 27 member states must protect certain natural habitats in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically, and consequently reduce nitrogen emissions. And it was the latter that fuelled general unrest among the peasants.
While the construction of the disputed part of the C0 sewage canal continues without a legally binding environmental consent, some farmers who have plots in the Natura 2000 area are threatened with new restrictions on farming – which the farmers perceive as a limitation of their property rights, because, among other things, the delayed first mowing will cost them all the income. It is interesting that the construction area of the disputed part of the C0 canal also belongs to Natura 2000 – but this apparently does not bother either the mayor Zoran Janković or the ardent environmentalists.