by Staff Reporter
THE Farmers' Union will hold an official meeting in Inca today at 9.30pm to decide what form of action should be taken over the next few days to protest against decisions announced by the Balearic Minister of Agriculture, Tomás Cortés
The Union's general secretary, Pere Calafat, and his deputy co-ordinator, Joan Mas, explained that the farmers' meeting will decide on the protest measures to be directed at the Minister. Mas also announced that the farmers will request a meeting with Balearic leader Jaume Matas, to ask him to “address, and put in order”, the issues of the agricultural policy of the Community, which in their judgement needs “a change of direction”. He went on to list the “grievances” that the union's members had against the Minister. They allege that since taking up his post last 1 July, that the Minister is being “controlled” and “manipulated” by a small group of businessmen who are opposed to the principles of agricultural co-operatives. The Union condemns this group as being interested before all else in “making money quickly”. Mas believes that Cortés made an error by announcing that there would be no subsidy for farmers working in the nut sector, a decision that he should rectify. The Minister was also criticised for the stance he has taken on the drop in prices in milk production, the abolition of an agreement with the agricultural co-operatives and the attempt to revoke the granting of land in the area of Maria de la Salut to the Camp de Mallorca production group. Calafat said that the Minister could avoid all these protests if he changed the direction of his policies. He should meet the union representatives and call the Agrarian Council to a meeting to address all the conflictive issues that affect the sector in Majorca. In any event, Calafat expressed confidence in the “ability” of the Balearic Government leader to “take control” of the situation and readjust the current ministerial policy. According to Calafat, his members are surprised that current Agricultural policies don't even appear to be linked to those of the ruling Partido Popular. On a separate issue, the Farmers' Union members held a meeting yesterday with members of the new assocation of Majorcan milk producers, who have severed links from the ASAJA association, which, claimed Mas, “has never defended the interests of the farmers.”

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