November 7, 2008

Bulgarian grain farmers protest against low prices


Hundreds of Bulgarian grain farmers staged protests across the country Thursday (November 6) demanding higher prices for their produce.


Farmers briefly disrupted traffic in the eastern city of Burgas by driving a convoy of 80 tractors through the streets, the national radio reported, while in the western city of Vratza dozens blocked a main road to a ferry crossing over the Danube to Romania.


Farmers in the northeastern town of Popovo were also reported to have taken to the streets in around 30 farming vehicles.


Roads were blocked in the central regions of Stara Zagiora and Haskovo, where demonstrators called for Agriculture and Supplies Minister Valeri Tsvetanov to resign, news agencies reported.


They urged the government to set minimum grain purchase prices.


Wheat prices stood at EUR260 a tonne in 2007, but fell to EUR138 this year as a result of a bountiful harvest.


Farmers also demanded subsidies equal to those paid across the European Union and vowed to stage nationwide protests in front of parliament Friday.

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