Cypriot farmers take to the streets joining European protests [VIDEO]


Cypriot farmers took to the streets with their tractors on Thursday in a protest that joins the Europe – wide movement that demands the postponement of “anti-agricultural policies, which in essence also target consumers”.

Dozens of tractors gathered at the parking area of the GSP stadium and ended up at the EU House in Nicosia, where a petition was handed out to the European Commission and the European Parliament asking for better plans and time frames. Farmers handed out a petition to the Presidential Palace as well and held a meeting there with Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Maria Panayiotou, who invited them to meet on Friday morning to discuss their demands.

In their petition, they call upon the EU institutions to a structured dialogue with the European Farmers’ Movement, focusing on the food security of the 510 million citizens of the European Union.

Outside the EU House in Nicosia farmers protested the unfavorable economic situation they have found themselves in, while th
ey also held messages such as “I love Cyprus, I love the world, that’s why I will continue to produce Cypriot products”, ” we defend the right to produce Cypriot products”, and “we defend Cyprus and its citizens”.

In their petition they say that the farmers’ movement of Cyprus joins all farmers of Europe and demands that “the anti-agricultural policies, which in essence target all consumers, be postponed”.

They point out that they are clearly in favor of a green development, which will not have a burden on the production costs, should contribute to the increase of the producers’ income and continue the European tradition of food safety.

Furthermore, the farmers explain the problems that the sector is facing and note that the prices for raw materials, energy and agricultural equipment have more than doubled thus having great negative effect on farmers.

“We have noted the reactions of both the European Commission and some member states to withdraw some decisions that have provoked the mobilisation of farmer
s,” the petition states, adding that “what our farmers demand is real financial support and measures for greater development and a real improvement in their standard of living”.

The farmers’ demands will be taken into account and “we are in constant dialogue with the farmers’ organisations”, the Minister of Agriculture said after receiving at the Presidential Palace, a petition from the farmers’ organisations who requested that it is delivered to the President of the Republic.

After receiving the petition, the Minister of Agriculture invited the farmers’ organisations, to meet with her on Friday morning at the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss their demands. The organisations accepted the invitation.

“The government, through its participation in the various EU institutions, submits the positions of our farmers, the positions we have as the Republic of Cyprus, with the common goal of safeguarding the European farmer”, the Minister noted.

Source: Cyprus News Agency