“Last straw” cuts to subsidies ‘to be scrapped’
The Confederation of Portuguese Farmers (CAP) said this afternoon that the government will reverse the cuts planned for farmers under the PAC Strategic Plan, rejecting what it calls “the violent protests affecting the sector.
CAP president Álvaro Mendonça e Moura said the confederation’s Council of Presidents spent the morning in negotiations with the government to reverse the measures, and that “it has been possible to reach an agreement (…) these cuts will have no effect”.
The ministries of agriculture and finance have scheduled a joint press conference for later this afternoon.
The reversal of the cuts requires special authorisation from the European Commission, which, according to CAP, the Ministry of Agriculture has undertaken to expedite immediately.
“This is obviously a very important measure that changes the situation we were experiencing,” said Mendonça e Moura.
CAP also said that measures under the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy, which relate to rural development, will equally be rescinded.
But, the former ambassador stressed that “all of this was neither necessary nor normal“, and urged the executive not to repeat the “disorganisation” that has led to today’s confusion.
The confederation said it fully understands” the farmers who have organised themselves to protest tomorrow, but asks them to “trust CAP”.
“I want to say that CAP is associated with a demonstration that will take place today in Brussels to call on the [European] Commission to take a different view of European agriculture and farmers as a whole, but CAP is in no way associated with violent demonstrations that have taken place in some countries and which have harmed Portuguese farmers,” he said.