Government commission proposes nationwide emergency over rain-hit crops

Harvesting in Lithuania
DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

“The commission’s members have unilaterally made a decision to recommend that the government declare a nationwide emergency situation,” Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas, chairman of the panel, told reporters.

Tomas Beržinskas, spokesman for Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, told BNS that the Cabinet would likely discuss the proposal on Wednesday.

That would open the way for the government to start looking for possibilities to support farmers by using the state’s reserve funds.

The heavy rains in August flooded farm fields, making them too wet for harvesting crops and sowing winter crops.

Lithuania this week plans to turn to the European Commission for compensation. Declaring a nationwide emergency situation may make it easier to secure funds.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in Tallinn last Friday that she had received assurances from European Commission President Jean- Claude Juncker that “there would be some kind of support”.

The Agriculture Ministry estimates that farmers’ losses due to the rainy weather may reach around 40 million euros, but the Chamber of Agriculture puts the figure at over 200 million euros.

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