Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the agricultural sector in Bulgaria has been marked by scandals. Due to reckless political decisions that were made without any justification, farmers have not received adequate support. On May 14, the European Commission announced that it decided to send a formal notice to Bulgaria regarding discriminatory measures imposed on retailers.

 

Less than one month later and the sector is, yet again, involved in another scandal.  On June 8, the investigative website www.bivol.bg published a video whereby the Bulgarian Minister of Agriculture, Good and Forestry, Desislava Taneva, urges farmers not to ask questions regarding the application of the EU Voluntary Coupled Support schemes.

In the two-minute video, she goes on to say: “I suggest that we adhere to the fact that we do not have these types of frauds and everything is fine, otherwise this funding will be stopped. In the end, we did what the sector wanted. But to now brag about what fraudsters we are? Tomorrow, they will say that you should not receive this help.”

According to the official position of the Agriculture Ministry, her words were taken out of context from a videoconference that took place on March 27. During that conference, a question was asked about why fruit and vegetable producers received such high Voluntary Coupled Support (VCS) claims for 2019.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/when-the-minister-speaks/

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