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Farm bodies challenged by new anti-treaty group

A new group called Farmers Say No has challenged the main farm bodies to defend their pro-treaty stance in the upcoming referendum.

"I don't know why the IFA and the ICMSA are so blindly following the Government's line on this issue," said former IFA county chairman and ex-ASA president David Thompson.

The Limerick man is one of a number of farmers who have banded together to campaign for a No vote in the referendum on the EU's fiscal treaty.

"The Government is trying to frighten us into a Yes vote. It's the same as Lisbon all over again," said Mr Thompson.

"I believe that this new bail-out fund that we're being promised simply doesn't exist until this treaty is passed. But if austerity continues, not only will people buy less of our meat and dairy, but the CAP budget will also become a target for cuts."

Macra na Feirme president Alan Jagoe hit back at the group, stating that he was "extremely disappointed with the negative view and appalled by their claims of lack of democracy within his organisation."

"My national council extensively discussed and endorsed a Yes vote to help strengthen the adherence to balanced eurozone budgets," he said.

Indo Farming