Some 2,000 units of machinery were involved in a protest farmers held in 16 cities and towns of Latvia on Monday, Juris Lazdins, board chairman of the nongovernment organization Zemnieku Saeima (Farmer’s Assembly), told LETA.
“The total number of the involved machinery units is around 2,000. This alone shows that the problems are pressing, chronic and painful. That is why the Agriculture Ministry and the government need to listen, so that we do not have to organize such actions anymore, so that the government starts to do something,” Lazdins said.
The head of the farmer’s NGO added that around 200 units of agricultural machinery, for instance, arrived in the center of Jelgava City.
Lazdins praise the farmers for their participation and how the protest was organized in a very short period of time.
It could become clear in the next three days whether there would be any improvements, he added.
On Monday, the protesting farmers were invited to a meeting with representatives of the Finance Ministry and the Saeima speaker.
“These meetings are already planned – dates and times are set. Unfortunately, we still have not heard from the prime minister. She is the head of government and also has a role to play on the issues we have raised. So we hope to hear from her soon,” Lazdins said.
As reported, farmers’ protests took place on Monday in Liepaja, Saldus, Talsi, Tukums, Kuldiga, Jelgava, Dobele, Bauska, Jekabpils, Aizkraukle, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Valmiera, Gulbene, Limbazi and Ogre.
During the protest, farmers are seeking an immediate ban on imports of Russian and Belarusian food products without a transitional period, the reinstatement of the reduced VAT rate of 5 percent on Latvian fruit and vegetables, a reduction in red tape in the agricultural sector, greater access to insurance and working capital programs.
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