Serbian Farmers to Block Roads in Struggle for Increased Subsidies

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After negotiations with the government broke down, Serbian farmimg unions have decided to block roads until their demands for higher subsidies are met.

Farmers in several Serbian towns and cities will use their machinery to block roads until their demands for the state to improve their position are met, a representative of the Initiative for the Survival of Serbian Farmers, Djoka Curcic, said.

“The blockades will start this morning and will last several hours a day until our demands are fulfilled,” Curcic told Beta news agency.

Some dairy producers said they will spill their milk as a sign of their discontent.

The decision to start public protests came after seven farming associations from different parts of Serbia failed to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Ana Brnabic last week.

Curcic also said that a later call by President Aleksandar Vucic for talks will not be accepted, since the President does not have jurisdiction over such matters.

Farmers are demanding an increase in subsidies per hectare of arable land, for the premium for a liter of milk to be set at 20 dinars (0.17 euros) instead of 15 dinars (0.13 euros), as well as for a minimum purchase price of milk of 78 dinars (0.67 euros) per liter plus VAT.

Farmers are also asking that excise duty and VAT not be calculated on diesel fuel.

They also want a protectionist surcharge to be introduced on dairy products imported from the EU and from countries that are signatories to the CEFTA agreement, and for the current subsidy per cow of 30,000 dinars (around 255 euros) to be increased by 10,000 dinars (85 euros).

Source : Balkaninsight