Farmers feel hard done by; protest rally planned for Tuesday

Farmers feel they have been given a bad deal when it comes to the government’s austerity measures, at least that is the opinion of farmers affiliated in the Slovak Agricultural and Food Chamber (SPPK). As a result, they plan to stage a protest before Parliament next week on Tuesday 30 November, reports newswire SITA.

The rally is intended to demonstrate their disapproval to the government consolidation measures, which will hit farmers and food producers the hardest, says chamber spokesman Stanislav Nemec. He said he appreciated the fact that consolidation of public finances was necessary, but that “the burden should be spread evenly on everyone’s shoulders, and not just on farmers and food producers”.

The chamber has already collated a petition with over 100,000 signatures, which they will present to parliamentary chairman Richard Sulik to add to his collection. The petition is demanding that the Slovak agriculture and food industry be preserved.

Feeling that they got the short straw, the SPPK members are calling for the tax relief on red diesel to be left alone for a start. They also want excise tax to be cut and the law defining relations between food producers and retail chains to be scrapped altogether, although as Nemec pinted out, it is still a bit too soon to evalaute the law as it only really entered into effect in September.

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