Lithuania ‘bombarding’ EC about aid for its dairy farmers

Lithuanian farmers have been severely hit by low global milk prices and a fall in raw milk purchase prices.

The Lithuanian government has this month paid out more than €16 million in aid to farmers and is looking for another €11 million.

“We are bombarding the European Commission. We have asked for a meeting with the European Commission president, Mr. (Jean-Claude) Juncker,” Butkevičius said on LRT Radio on Tuesday morning.

“Our commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis is coming next week. We are meeting on Friday morning and I have asked that we discuss milk issues – how the European Commission is going to contribute to compensating milk producers for their losses – during that meeting, even though this is not his area,” he said.

The prime minister expects that milk processors will keep their promise not to cut raw milk purchase prices in the summer.

Lithuania in February asked the Commission to provide €75 million in additional support to the country’s milk sector, but the EU’s executive body said that it had no immediate plans to allocate direct payments.

Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė has said that the Commission dose not plan to help dairy farmers this year as no funds have been earmarked in the EU budget for this purpose.

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