“We expect dialogue, as I think that the cabinet is beginning to realize that there are no other options and that without dialogue the road remains thorny rather than rosy,” commented former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ivan Hristanov in the studio of “The Day ON AIR”.
According to him, the first very important step is to realize the demands of the farmers.
“They don’t realize them, because we see in the conversation they are having, including in the words of the prime minister, we see it in their media coverage, that plot continues to unfold that this is a protest by large grain producers. I will not get tired of I repeat that the protest was started by the fruit growers, because the season was difficult, the plantations failed, the payments of the state aid, which are traditional for such a bad year from a decade ago, were extremely delayed and these people cannot start the new economic year. This may seem very technical, but the real reasons are there and they are suggested by the industry,” Hristanov also told Bulgaria ON AIR.
He is convinced that “this is another trap set by Delyan Peevski and Boyko Borisov.” “We see a brilliantly executed plan, unfortunately, the colleagues from the cabinet fell into it with terrible force. On the one hand, Borisov mocks, and on the other hand, Ms. Desislava Taneva says “we support”. That is, they sign, but she says that supports the protest,” he added.
“Mrs. Ninova, Kostadinov and the other parties simply see attempts and opportunities to extract a little political dividend, they also have no idea what agriculture is, but to “pick up” something there,” is Hristanov’s opinion.
He shared that when he became deputy minister “specific and extremely powerful branch officials” went to him and directly told him “either you will listen or the government will go.”
“These are a few people, they are not all of them. They tried to make protests last year and take us down. The end result was that those who are protesting today, the small and medium farmers from the other branches, they refused to participate in this process and their plan failed. Why did they want to overthrow us? Because what it is said today that they were going to start as a reform, we finished it last year,” the former deputy minister of agriculture also said.
He refused to give an assessment of the work of the new Minister of Agriculture, as he did not have the opportunity to observe it.
“If we look at the picture from the side, we see mistrust on the part of the farmers, but mistrust is being treated,” Hristanov added.
According to him, money for municipalities and rural areas, for organic farming, and for young farmers was drastically increased last year.
“In Europe, we are in the last place in terms of financing young farmers, small and medium-sized farms. We started working on the so-called family farm, because these are the steps from which you start building the big picture and vision. We do not have large Bulgarian brands and products, the value does not stay in Bulgaria. When we talk about exporting raw materials, the value goes to Italy, Austria,” Hristanov emphasized.
When asked if there are terrorists among the farmers, he answered: “There are 10 people who are not at these protests, but most likely today or tomorrow they will ride those who are. The rest of the farmers – they are not. It is very important that the cabinet chooses correctly the negotiators,” Hristanov also said.
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