The leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is making an effort to improve the amounts that will remain in Pillar I of the PAA, said the Minister of Rural Development Lefteris Avgenakis in an interview with KRITIS TV, answering a question about the transfer, this year, of 236 million from Pillar I in Pillar II, with the result that the amounts given to the single aid are reduced.

Referring to the mistakes of the OPEKEPE administration in the payment of the aid, Lefteris Avgenakis identified two main ones:

Firstly, that it does not proceed with the control of the 16,000 VAT IDs it has reserved. And, secondly, he did not activate 88 million euros, of which the farmers were entitled to.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that these were also the reasons he requested the resignation of the administration, noting that the president has so far refused to resign and is drumming up behind his appointment process, saying that he was appointed by ASEP. However, the minister expressed his optimism that with the new year there will be a new administration, which will be able to implement the goal set by the government for an OPEKEPE that will operate with transparency, speed and consistency, for the benefit of producers. Lefteris Avgenakis said he was determined to clash with the systems plaguing OPEKEPE, but, he stressed, this takes time.

At the same time, he said that the ELGA Operating Regulations will soon be modernized.

As far as the School of Messara is concerned, he said that his goal is to become a model School in the South-Eastern Mediterranean, characteristically saying that we are not talking about upgrading but about resurrecting the School. At the same time, he noted that the Animal Husbandry School will also reopen.

Regarding the meeting held in collaboration with the Region of Crete and the Dutch company HVA, for the management of Crete’s water resources, he pointed out that 87% of the water is used for irrigation in the primary sector and stressed that the management must done by a single body. The situation in Crete, he said, is better than Thessaly, because in Crete there is a first masterplan, and records of the possibilities of the existing infrastructure from the Development Organization of Crete. As the minister pointed out, the Dutch company HVA undertook in the next four months to file a schedule of priorities for the use of existing projects and the construction of new ones, but also how one project will work in support of the other.

At the Council of Ministers in Brussels

Today the Minister of Rural Development and Food goes to Brussels in order to participate, tomorrow, in the Council of Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of the EU.

This evening he will attend a meeting of the ministers of EUMED-9, i.e. the nine ministers of agriculture of the Mediterranean countries, which will take place on the sidelines of the evening of Italian gastronomy organized by his Italian counterpart Francesco Lollobrigida, in order to discuss the creation of a permanent mechanism addressing the consequences of the climate crisis, in the primary sector.

On the sidelines of the Council of Ministers, the Greek minister will meet with his counterparts from Cyprus and the Czech Republic.