Matecna to Meet Cheated Farmers in Kosice Next Thursday

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Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 6 (TASR) – Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) is initiating a meeting in Kosice next Thursday (April 12) with farmers who feel cheated with regards to the situation in the agricultural sector in eastern Slovakia, stated Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) at a press conference in Bratislava on Friday with the agriculture minister in attendance.

In addition to the farmers, the meeting will be attended by the heads of the Agriculture Payment Agency (PPA) and the Slovak Land Fund (SPF), Police Corps President Tibor Gaspar as well as by representatives of the Kosice police, Kosice Regional Prosecutor’s Office and Kosice Regional Court.

“I want the session to be attended also by organisers of the farmers initiative who staged yesterday’s [April 5] protest [in Kosice], and I want to give them the opportunity to talk to all the relevant authorities in this regard,” said the premier, adding that the participants of the meeting will try to find out what went wrong in the agriculture sector and where exactly.

“If we find the mistakes, we are, along with Minister Matecna, ready to adopt measures at the government level that will eliminate failures and problems at all levels for good, if there are any in the system,” said Pellegrini, adding that this concerns not only the agriculture sector.

The premier further said that he respects the opinion of the farmers expressed in a written letter sent to the premier and that he’s ready to meet all of them at the Government Office in Bratislava after the aforementioned meeting in Kosice.

Pellegrini expressed his willingness to listen to the farmers’ ideas and proposals about how to improve the system in the agriculture sector.

Journalist Andrej Ban of Dennik N daily in an article pointed to frauds in farm subsidies in which Smer-SD’s former district chief Lubica Roskova was allegedly involved. Roskova’s firm Agro Porubka has reportedly received farm subsidies for plots of land it neither owns, nor cultivates. The firm allegedly obtained €40,000 from EU funds for 2017.