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23 May, 2024
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Farmers rev up tractors in protest against EU agricultural policies

Cypriot farmers rally for the third time in eight months, protesting soaring production costs, green taxes, and concerns about EU trade agreements jeopardizing European quality standards.


In the third such demonstration within eight months, Cypriot farmers steered their tractors through city streets, protesting against what they perceive as the European Union's misguided policies in the common agricultural policy. Key concerns include soaring production costs, the imposition of green taxes, and apprehensions about the EU's trade agreements, particularly one with Latin American countries, importing agricultural products failing to meet European quality standards.

The march, originating from the GSP area, made stops at the House of Europe and the Presidential Palace. Farmers delivered a petition and letter to the Minister of Agriculture, directed at the European Commission. Demonstrators displayed placards with slogans like "Destruction of agriculture and livestock farming, we are also being driven into red loans" and "I love Cyprus, I love the world, that's why I will continue to produce Cypriot products." The General Secretary of the Union of Cypriot Farmers, Panicos Hambas, expressed the farmers' desire to initiate a structured dialogue on pressing issues. A meeting with the Minister of Agriculture has been scheduled.

Mrs. Maria Panayiotou, receiving the farmers' memorandum outside the Presidential Palace, stated, "Through our participation in the various institutions of the European Union, we present the positions of our farmers, the positions we have as the Republic of Cyprus, having a common goal: the preservation of the European farmer." She emphasized collaboration with farmers' organizations and the use of financial tools to improve the agricultural sector infrastructure, contributing to the country's GDP.

Environment Commissioner addresses farmer reactions

Antonia Theodosiou, the Environment Commissioner, stated that she closely follows farmers' reactions, emphasizing the likelihood of inconsistencies in the common agricultural policy and general European Commission measures at a local level. Theodosiou underscored the necessity of local adjustments and steps to be taken within the European Union's framework.

Paphos farmers join protest

Farmers from Paphos gathered at the Konion roundabout, offering fruit to passing drivers and displaying banners with slogans like 'Enough of the mockery' and 'Our tolerance is over.' The farmers voiced their grievances against what they consider flawed EU policies in the common agricultural policy. Long-time farmer Marios Kolios highlighted the sector's challenges, emphasizing the farmers' aim to reduce costs rather than increase prices.

Michael Kimonos, the community leader of Stato Agios Fotios, stressed the need to address agricultural product accuracy and provide targeted subsidies to support farmers and rural areas. The farmers' unified voice called for a structured dialogue with the European Agricultural Movement, focusing on food sufficiency.

Haralambos Pittokopitis, Provincial Secretary of PEK, conveyed a clear message from Paphos and Cyprus' agricultural movement, urging Brussels to listen to the farmers and people rather than just the oligarchs. He warned against burdening the primary and agricultural sector with the costs of transitioning to the green deal.

Representatives of the New Agricultural Movement deplored the EU's lack of agricultural policy and expressed concerns about allocating funds to Ukraine amid the agricultural sector's struggles. They lamented the necessity of protests due to the lack of options in the face of impending disaster for the agricultural sector.

Cyprus  |  farmers  |  protest  |  environment

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