Farmers not left empty handed after protest
Farmers in Brussels returned home satisfied after promises by Leterme and Peeters Wednesday…19 June 2008
BELGIUM - The 500 farmers and 200 truck drivers who drove into Brussels Wednesday were not sent home empty-handed. On Munt Square, where the farmers gave fruit away to passers-by, Prime Minister Leterme (CD&V) took the stand to address the farmers.
Without hesitation he defended their demand for a fair price for their products. He promised that he would investigate who pockets the profits on the rising food prices, and whether the taxes of the farmers should not rather be spread over more years.
The farmers should also enjoy a decrease in the contested contribution to the National Food Agency. The agricultural organisations felt satisfaction with so much goodwill, even more so after the Flemish Minister President Kris Peeters (CD&V) also announced that an amount of EUR 14 million will be earmarked for investment support of agricultural activities.
Besides that, the Flemish government will invest in the promotion of agricultural products in those sectors where difficulties are experienced. The 200 truck drivers of the UPTR obtained less concessions from the government.
Nevertheless, the transport unions were satisfied about their negotiations with the Minister of Finance, Didier Reynders (MR) and the Minister of ‘SMBs’ and the self-employed, Sabine Laruelle (MR).