The Slovenia Times

Govt moves to appease farmers

Industry & AgriculturePolitics

Prime Minister Robert Golob and other government officials received representatives of farmers on 3 April in the wake of tractor protests ten days ago. Having obtained assurances that their demands will be heard and that there will be no new taxes, the farmers decided to freeze their protest for three weeks.

"We've got assurances that the real estate tax will not enter procedure for two years," Anton Medved, the head of the Trade Union of Slovenian Farmers, told reporters after the meeting.

Outlining its tax reform plans in March, the government indicated that the real estate tax could be introduced in 2025. An earlier attempt at introducing such a tax failed in 2014 after the Constitutional Court quashed the property appraisal act, which was to underpin the new system.

The farmers and the government also agreed to form a task force that will meet weekly to examine the 15 demands set by the farmers.

They will meet again in three weeks to examine the progress. "If there's no progress within three weeks, we'll announce the next protest," Medved said.

Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko said certain solutions were agreed today, but she would not reveal any details. "Things need to mature," she said.

Minister for Natural Resources and Spatial Planning Uroš Brežan said two task forces would be set up to address the issue of excessive populations of deer, bears and wolves, one involving experts and another one that will be broader.

One of the farmers' demands is that the areas designated as Natura 2000 sites, where use of various farming techniques is restricted, be scaled back.

On that point Brežan said they agreed guidelines that should bring their views closer this year, and on solutions that will not encroach on the existing farming practices in these areas.

He said the meeting showed that farmers were a partner to the government and that they are able to seek common solutions. He is hopeful the meetings in the coming three weeks will produce results.

The 24 March protests saw thousands of farmers take to the streets with their tractors in protest at environmental and other restrictions they say are making it near impossible to continue farming.


More from Industry & Agriculture