RIGA - Latvian Agriculture Minister Laimdota Straujuma is optimistic about the possibility of increasing direct payments to Baltic farmers.
After a meeting with President Andris Berzins today, Straujuma told members of the press that support within the European Parliament for Latvia's position has basically been achieved, as the largest European Parliament group - ''European People's Party'', has expressed support to increase direct payments to Baltic farmers to Romania's level, or 77 percent of the average amount.
Straujuma also added that French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll has also expressed support for the Baltic countries' attempts to increase direct payments to farmers.
It is planned that EU leaders will begin discussions on the bloc’s next multi-annual budget in November.
At the same time, Straujuma also said that the president supported the initiative for larger direct payments to farmers who work their land, and less for persons who just reap their land.