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Polish PM Criticizes EU Insufficient Aid for Farmers Amid Influx of Ukrainian Food

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has criticized the EU's inadequate aid for farmers affected by cheap Ukrainian food imports, leading to bottlenecks and lower prices.

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Laura Niklas
Laura Niklas
Laura Niklas is a talented journalist with a passion for uncovering under-reported stories. With over seven years of experience, she has made a name for herself in the industry with her in-depth reporting and unique perspective. Laura holds a degree in journalism from the University of Salzburg and has worked for top Austrian newspapers. Her work has been recognized with several awards and she is dedicated to delivering thought-provoking journalism to her readers. Known for her determination and integrity, Laura is a valuable member of the Austrian journalism community.
Polish PM Criticizes EU Insufficient Aid for Farmers

Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has criticized the European Union (EU) for not offering enough aid to farmers affected by cheap Ukrainian food imports. At a press conference, Morawiecki stated that the measures offered by the EU are “too little, too late,” adding that the aid offered is only “a drop in the ocean of needs.” Meanwhile, the Polish government has approved a total of PLN 10 billion ($2.4 billion) in aid for Polish agriculture.

Central European countries have been in talks with Brussels to negotiate EU-wide measures to help agriculture, after some countries enforced import bans on Ukrainian food products. Several central European countries have become transit routes for Ukrainian grain, which cannot be exported through the country’s Black Sea ports due to Russia’s invasion in February 2022. This has led to bottlenecks, trapping millions of tons of grains in countries bordering Ukraine, and forcing local farmers to compete with cheap Ukrainian imports.

Although the EU has offered 100 million euros of aid for central European farmers, in addition to an earlier 56-million-euro package, the measures have been criticized for being insufficient. The EU has also said it will take emergency “preventive measures” for wheat, maize, sunflower seeds, and rape seed. However, central European states are calling for this list to be widened to include products such as honey and some meats.

On Friday, the Polish government approved measures to support farmers. These include increasing the amount of excise duty farmers can have refunded on diesel from 1.20 zlotys to 1.46 zlotys. The government will also ask the European Commission to allow it to raise the amount that can be refunded to 2 zlotys. It will also pay subsidies to ensure farmers get a minimum price of 1,400 zlotys per ton of wheat.

The influx of cheap Ukrainian food imports has led to lower prices for farmers in central European countries. The EU’s measures have been criticized for being inadequate, and many believe that they will not be sufficient to address the situation. Farmers in the affected countries are calling for stronger measures, including wider import bans on Ukrainian food products, to protect their livelihoods.

The situation has highlighted the vulnerability of farmers in central European countries to external factors, such as political unrest in neighboring countries. The Ukrainian conflict has had a significant impact on the agricultural sector in the region, and it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.

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