“The government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on their side and it has been proven by the measures we have taken so far”, emphasized the Minister of Rural Development
News invitation to the farmers for dialogueso that problems that have intensified due to the climate crisis can be solved, the Minister of Rural Development and Food addressed the farmers Lefteris Avgenakisin an interview with ERT.
“I ask the farmers to come and discuss. We have nothing to separate. We are together. We are on the same side of the bank. We have many things to do together. We really want to support the primary sector even more. We understand the problems. They are not alone. THE government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on their side and it has been proven by the meters that we have received so far”, the minister emphasized.
At the same time, he said that on Friday, as part of the report Agrotica in Thessaloniki, the Minister of Energy and Environment, Theodoros Skylakakis, will announce the program “Apollo» which concerns energy costs in primary production.
As far as Thessaly is concerned, the minister emphasized that around 150 million euros have already been given as advances, and the government has reserved another 110 million from the State Budget and if required will give more, in order to pay off the damages to crop production and livestock until June 30.
Regarding the coverage of compensations, he was categorical, stressing that they will be covered 100%.
He also referred to the special measures taken by the HYPAAT for Thessaly, emphasizing that both measure 5.2 amounting to 45 million euros, as well as the aid program for at least two years, for the producers of the Parakarlian regions, emerged through a dialogue with the affected. It is recalled that measure 5.2 provides for free replacement of drowned animals and free reconstruction of stables destroyed by Daniel.
Especially for the farmers of Thessaly, Lefteris Avgenakis noted that YPAAT proceeded purposefully to extend last year’s denitrification program, which, together with this year’s interventions, amounts to a total of 150 million euros.
Finally, he noted that the payment of compensation to producers who were not insured in ELGA because they were not provided with compulsory insurance, such as pig farmers, poultry farmers, growers of aromatic plants, etc., begins immediately, with 15.8 million euros from its Agricultural Reserve 2023.
The compensations from ELGA
Regarding the measures that have already been taken, he noted that ELGA alone in the period 2020 to 2023 has paid more than 1 billion euros in compensation to farmers. And at the same time the government with its decisions:
– Returned to farmers the Excise Tax on oil, giving a total of about 160 million euros to about 297,000 farmers.
– Reduced the VAT for the purchase of agricultural machinery from 24% to 13%
– Reduced VAT on animal feed from 13% to 6%
– It reduced by 50% the taxation on the profits of farmers operating through cooperative schemes
– He abolished the taxation of aid from the first euro imposed by SYRIZA.
Especially for the CAP, an issue raised by farmers, the Minister said that Greece already has improvements in six points and is awaiting the approval of its proposals by the EU. At the same time, he said that the issue of changes to the CAP, along with the creation of a permanent mechanism to deal with the climate crisis and the problems of downy mildew, crop failure and invasive fish in the Mediterranean, were raised by him at the meeting of the EUMED-9 group, which met for the first time, with a Greek initiative on issues of Agriculture, with the aim of creating front from the Southern countries of the EU
Transparency in OPEKEPE
In relation to the reduced single aid they received through OPEKEPE, he said that the amount of single aid by EU decision, which was transferred from Pillar I of the CAP to Pillar II, was indeed reduced by 236 million. However, he noted that OPEKEPE did mistakes and in the distribution of the rest of the money that the farmers were entitled to and this was the reason to remove the previous President of the Organization and his associates. He also noted that the previous president is under investigation by the Court of Justice for maladministration, as well as that he has ordered an in-depth audit by chartered accountants, and that the cases that have been vindicated by the Court be paid immediately. As well as liquidating the 16,000 TINs that are frozen and any irregularities found to be brought to justice but the rest to be paid. On Wednesday, as he said, the new Board of Directors of the Organization is meeting in order to take decisions on when the IACS will open and will announce when the payments will be made to the ecological schemes, while the aim is through a modern information system to have a connection between the central ones and the ten regional departments with which there was no communication until now. We want a modern OPEKEPE that operates transparently for the benefit of farmers only, he stressed.
Checks are ongoing
The minister was categorical on the issue of controls on the market and at the country’s entry gates. The checks have started since January 18, by mixed levels of the Food Directorate of the Ministry of AAT, EFET, ELGO DIMITRA and the cooperation of the local DAOK, but also with the assistance of police, port and judicial authorities, when deemed necessary.
The objective of the ministry is to control the quality of milk imported into the country, to ensure that the products are not spoiled and that PDO products, such as feta cheese, are not put at risk. “We are unraveling a tangle that many were talking about but no one had the guts to touch,” said the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
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