- Title: HUNGARY: HUNGARIAN FARMERS CONTINUE ROAD BLOCKS DEMANDING HIGHER SUBSIDIES
- Date: 25th February 2004
- Summary: (EU) VECSES, HUNGARY (FEBRUARY 25, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. SLV TRACTORS PARKED IN ONE LANE OF THE M4 MOTORWAY, 35KMS FROM CAPITAL BUDAPEST 0.09 2. SLV LONG LINE OF TRACTORS AND VEHICLES ON THE MOTORWAY BLOCKING ONE LANE OF TRAFFIC TO BUDAPEST 0.14 3. CU BANNER READING COUNTRY RELIES ON FARMERS 0.23 4. CU/SV FARMERS STANDING BESIDE TRACTORS, TALKING (2 SHOTS) 0.35 5. (SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) DR. LAJOS ZOLDI, VETERINARIAN AND FARMER SAYING: "I come from the village of Monor. We came here to protest because Hungarian agriculture, especially small and medium-size farms are in a tragic state" 0.47 (EU) MONOR, HUNGARY (FEBRUARY 25, 2004) (REUTERS) 6. SLV ZOLDI ENTERING BARN ON HIS FARM 0.52 7. SLV ZOLDI FEEDING THE ONLY TWO COWS HE KEPT ON THE FARM 1.03 8. SV HORSES AND COWS EATING 1.08 9. SV MILKING MACHINE, EMPTY BARN IN THE BACKGROUND 1.13 10. MCU (Hungarian) ZOLDI SAYING "I had a total 80 milking cows and some calves and I had to liquidate the farm because I could barely cover my costs" 1.21 (EU) VECSES, HUNGARY (FEBRUARY 25, 2004) (REUTERS) 11. SLV LONG LINE OF TRACTORS PARKED ON THE ROAD 1.28 12. CU OF FLAG 1.33 13. SLV/CU GROUP OF FARMERS COOKING GOULASH IN HUGE CAULDRON BESIDE MOTORWAY (4 SHOTS) 1.57 14. SLV/SV MAN EATING GOULASH, LONG LINE OF TRACTORS AND VEHICLES BEHIND HIM (2 SHOTS) 2.10 15. SLV/SV MORE OF BLOCKADE (2 SHOTS) 2.27 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 11th March 2004 12:00
- Location: VECSES AND MONOR, HUNGARY
- Country: Hungary
- Reuters ID: LVAACB1MF7AV621EYSHY5KVE709E
- Story Text: Farmers continue road blocks demanding higher
Hungarian farmers continued to block main roads into
the capital Budapest on Wednesday (February 25, 2004) after the
collapse of overnight talks with the government.
Thousands of dairy, pig and poultry farmers have been
blocking lanes on many roads for two weeks calling for a
higher level of subsidy once Hungary joins the European
Union in May.
Hungarian farmers will initially receive direct
subsidies from the bloc at only a quarter of the level paid
to producers in the existing 15 member states. That
proportion is due to rise gradually. The deal is the same
for the nine other EU newcomers.
One of the protesters on the Vecses road, Lajos Zoldi,
is a dairy farmer. Like most of the country's farmers he
thinks the EU terms are unfair because it means he will get
smaller subsidies than EU farmers whose governments joined
the Union earlier.
He compare is to riding a donkey-cart, when everybody
else is using a four-horse carriage.
"I come from the village of Monor. We came here to
protest because Hungarian agriculture, especially small and
medium-size farms are in a tragic state," says Zoldi.
The farmers also want a substantial hike in milk
purchase prices and restrictions on chicken and pig imports.
Zoldi says he got rid of 78 cows because the price of
milk was too low.
But the centre-left cabinet is struggling to rein in a
big budget deficit. It has little room for manoeuvre to
satisfy farmers who fear free trade within the bloc will
force many out of business. EU governments are allowed to
top up farm subsidies from their own budgets.
"I had 80 milk cows and had to liquidate my farm
because milk purchase prices barely cover my costs," Zoldi
The blockade does not look likely to end soon.
After talks broke down late on Tuesday the farmers have
threatened rallies in Budapest on Thursday and Friday
unless the government comes up with a deal before then.
There are 250,000 registered farmers in Hungary, with
the sector generating about four-five percent of total GDP.
Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy said Hungary would need
to make further spending cuts, on top of a net 120 billion
forints already decided, if farmers forced the government
into raising farm subsidies.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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