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Farmers urge to compensate unsatisfactory direct payments with national resources

Photo: LETA.
 RIGA, Feb 15 - At the moment, the main task in agriculture is to work together with the government to compensate the European Union's unsatisfactory direct payments with national resources - tax policy and reducing bureaucracy, "Zemnieku saeima" head Juris Lazdins pointed out after a meeting with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity) yesterday.
The meeting was organized at the initiative of farmers. The prime minister informed farmers about the results of the European Council's summit on the bloc's multi-annual budget for 2014-2020.

"We have defined a vision for the next seven years to maintain competitiveness and we have also received support from the prime minister regarding several matters. We will continue working to compensate the bloc's balance of direct payments to Latvia with national resources - tax policy and reducing administrative burden. National resources are powerful instruments. It is possible to ensure the competitiveness of Latvian farmers in the future by rationally planning and implementing these resources," said Lazdins.

Today, "Zemnieku saeima" will meet with the finance minister and the State Revenue Service's director general to implement the required changes as soon as possible.

Latvian Agricultural Cooperatives' Association board chairman Indulis Jansons in turn pointed out that the prime minister was interested in farmers' proposals and the industry will await swift solutions, "taking into account that we did not achieve the expected progress regarding direct payments".

As reported, according to the EU budget deal, direct payments to Latvian farmers will increase to EUR 196 (LVL 138), or approximately 80 percent of the EU average, by 2020.
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