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Wednesday 16 January 2019

CAP budget facing more pressure as eastern European farmers protest over 'low' payments

Brussels, which hosts the main institutions of the EU and the Nato HQ, has seen a spike in UFO sightings. Stock picture
Brussels, which hosts the main institutions of the EU and the Nato HQ, has seen a spike in UFO sightings. Stock picture
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The CAP budget is coming under more pressure, as eastern European farmers call for increased farm payments.

Farmers from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Czech and Slovak Republics took to the streets of Brussels today demanding a fair CAP.

Earlier this week, the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said the European Commission's proposals on direct payments to Lithuanian farmers are "unacceptable".

The Lithuania Tribune reports Lithuanian farmers want the European Commission to increase direct payments. Grybauskaitė expressed support to the farmers, saying their demands are "reasonable," since the European Commission's relevant proposals are "unacceptable".

According to the 2021-2027 budget, the direct payments would again be lower than the EU average, said the President's Office.

On average, direct payments in the EU amount to €266/ha eligible for payment, according to the European Commission.

Currently, Lithuanian farmers receive direct payments of €170ha local media reports.

The farmers from Latvia, Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are today demanding higher direct payments and "equal treatment".

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“We have travelled for two days all the way to Brussels to make sure that EU leaders don’t forget their promise to treat all EU farmers equally,” said Arūnas Svitojus, the president of the Chamber of Agriculture of Lithuania said today.

The European Council meets on Thursday and Friday to discuss the EU's long-term budget for the years 2021-2027.

"Funding for agriculture is among the key negotiation points," Grybauskaitė told representatives of Lithuanian farmers' organizations during the meeting.

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