Farmers say PM is well prepared to protect their interests in Brussels

  • 2013-02-05

RIGA - Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) is very well aware of Latvian farmers' problems due to the unfair direct payments, therefore he can successfully protect Latvian farmers' interests during the talks on the European Union's budget for 2014-2020, as farmers organizations' representatives told reporters after a meeting with Dombrovskis on Monday.

"The premier is well aware of the problem and he knows all the data regarding the direct payments. The premier is very well prepared indeed, and we hope that he will do everything in his power to protect farmers' interests. It is true that the original EU member states may veto several important matters, but at least we know that we are doing our best," said Farmers Saeima head Maira Dzelzkaleja.

Whereas Farmer Organizations' Cooperation Council head Edgars Treibergs said that Dombrovskis must not go back on Latvian farmers' demands - if there is no other way, Latvia should use its right to veto the EU budget.

"The premier must insist on the previous compromise. If Latvian farmers are not offered a fairer proposal - direct payments at 80 percent of the EU average level and decent funding for rural development, we want the premier to consider using his veto right during the vote on the budget," said Treibergs.

As reported, Baltic farmers held a meeting with Dombrovskis yesterday to discuss the Baltic countries' joint position on the EU multiannual budget.

A similar meeting took place in Tallinn on February 1, when Baltic farmers' organizations met with Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. February 15, Baltic farmers' organizations will have a meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.