Bulgarian Agricultural Producers to Block Danube Bridge 2 over Illegal Imports from Romania

Vegetable growers from the northwestern Bulgarian city of Vidin and the nearby villages plan to block Danube Bridge 2 unless the authorities take steps to curb illegal imports.

"We staged a protest of fruit and vegetable growers from the Vidin district because our sales collapsed after the launch of Danube Bridge 2," said Milena Dmitrova, agricultural producer from the village of Gomotartsi, as cited by the Focus news agency.

She emphasized that tomato prices had never been so low at that time of the year.

Dimitrova said that sales of local producers had plummeted due to the unregulated imports of Romanian fruits and vegetables through Danube Bridge 2, adding that the production was being sold very cheap by hawkers who had no registration, no sales permits, and paid no social security contributions, fees or taxes.

She made clear that vegetable growers from Vidin and the nearby villages of Gomotartsi, Kapitanovtsi and Kutovo had filed complaints to 9 institutions, including the regional police department in Vidin, the Regional Health Inspectorate, the district directorate of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency, the National Revenue Agency (NRA), the Customs Agency, the local unit of the State Fund Agriculture, and the Agriculture directorate of the municipal administration. The letter of complaint was also sent to the Minister of Agriculture and Food.

The disgruntled agricultural producers explained that wholesale prices of tomatoes in Romania were as low as BGN 0.20 because the farmers were paid a subsidy of EUR 0.65 per kg.

The farmers noted that Bulgaria could also introduce a subsidy of up to BGN 0.18 per kg for tomatoes which would only cover costs for seeds.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's National Association of Tobacco Growers announced that it was also gearing up for protests scheduled to take place on July 11 in Sofia and at three border crossing points.

Industry representatives complained that the government had failed to protect the interests of tobacco growers as regards EU subsidies.

Representatives of the National Association of Tobacco Growers are to meet with Svetla Bachvarova, Chair of the Parliament's agriculture committee, to discuss the matter.

Adapted from novinite


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