Serbian government will host a meeting with farmers amid strikes
The government has called farmers – protesting over their unmet demands from the Agriculture Ministry since May – to a meeting on Monday to discuss solutions.
In Subotica, farmers have been organising tractor protests, sometimes blocking the traffic. Ambulances and other first responder vehicles, buses with children inside, and other vehicles with sick people are allowed to pass.
The farmers say they will not stop until the demands from the agreement with the Agriculture Ministry are met.
Marko Gabrić from the Farmers Association of Subotica told Radio-televizija Srbije that the Ministry had said that they were, in fact, right. “Our agreement is to have any farmer, at any gas station, receive fuel with VAT, but with no excise tax. The Ministry tells us that we will get a refund, which was not the deal”, Gabrić told RTS.
“People cannot afford the fuel, and we need it to become cheaper right now. The solution is not to wait for the Ministry of Finance to refund us”, said Gabrić.
Novi Sad’s farmers have been blocking the Refinery, doing a protest drive through the city’s centre. Up to 20 towns and cities in Vojvodina have joined the protest.
“Together, all the institutions included in this area, and the farmers, must give concrete suggestions of solutions so that the market can be regulated in the best possible way”, the Ministry has announced.
On the fuel question, the Ministry underlines that there is no dispute and that the farmers are correct. Starting from 1 January, they will have the right to a refund of the excise tax, as defined by the Excise tax law adopted in September this year.
Among other topics to be discussed on Monday is the problem of satellite imaging for inspection control.
(Euractiv.rs | Bojana Zimonjić Jelisavac)