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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 23.08.2019, 09:57

EC grants EUR 9.2 mln to Lithuanian farmers, 3.46 mln to Latvian

BC, Riga, 20.12.2017.Print version
The European Commission has decided to earmark 9.21 million euros in European Union (EU) support to Lithuanian farmers affected by heavy rainfall, the EC mission in Lithuania told BNS on Wednesday. The European Commission will provide EUR 3.46 million from EU agricultural funds to help farmers from Latvia who had to face exceptional rainfall in the autumn, the Commission’s representation in Latvia reported LETA.

The rainfall devastated crops during the harvesting period in August through October, with extreme damages reported by farmers in eastern Lithuania.


The European Commission earmarked a total of 15 million euros to the three Baltic states and Finland. All four countries will be allowed to add the same size of national contributions. The aid is to be used by the end of September 2018.


According to the government's calculations, the damages incurred by Lithuanian farmers could be around 40 million euros, while farmers say the damage was a few times higher.


Agriculture Minister Rolandas Taraskevicius dubbed the Brussels decision as a sign of solidarity, however, noted that the damages incurred by Lithuania's farmers were much bigger.


"We see this as the European Commission's sign of solidarity with the farmers. Of course, the damages that we have calculated and that are accumulating are far bigger. We realize that the EC could not and did not plan on compensating the damages in full," Taraskevicius told BNS.


In his words, farmers should receive the support by this fall. National support is not envisaged at the moment, however, the possibility is not ruled out.


"There is nothing envisaged in this year's budget, we will look during the course of the year (…). We are working with the crisis management fund and plan to open intensive consultations with our social partners in January through February. We will provide a few models, as we're talking about contribution of farmers to the fund," Taraskevicius said.


The government turned to the European Commission over the damages in October.


The Commission is aware of these particularly unfortunate conditions and is therefore delivering on the promise made by President Juncker to provide support to the affected farmers, the Commission said.


The aid provided to Latvia is part of an aid package of EUR 15 million distributed among the three Baltic states and Finland. All four Member States will be allowed to pay a 100 percent top-up on the EU funds received. Member States have until September 30, 2018, to use the aid provided.


As reported, the Latvian Agricultural Ministry had turned to the European Commission with a request to provide financial assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund to deal with consequences from this summer’s floods.


The ministry had estimated that damage had been done to 76,900 hectares of crops and more than 13,000 tons of hay. Emergency situation was declared in 29 regions in Latvia. The preliminary loss has been estimated at EUR 37.3 million.

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