STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
FARMERS are clambering into their tractors and taking to the roads of the island today to demand action from the Government in the face of rising fuel costs.

The protest is part of a nationwide demonstration organised by farmers' body COAG today.
The main issues of concern to farmers are the rising costs of agricultural fuel, fertilizer, animal feed and seeds.
Over the last year, COAG says that agricultural fuel has risen by 40 percent, fertilizer by 100 percent, feed by 45 percent and seeds by 74 percent.
Farmers will hand in documents to central Government representatives across the country with the list of demands to ease the financial pressures they are currently encountering.

In the Balearics, a group of farmers will present the central Government delegate, Ramon Socias with a package of financial measures they wish to see implemented.

Biel Torrens, Secretary General of the Majorcan farmers' union, said that among farmers' demands was a reduction in VAT from 16 percent to seven percent.

Torrens also said that they also wished to see the elimination of the Special Tax on Hydrocarbons speeded up for farmers through the introduction of a special professional card.

He pointed out that the tax currently added 0.078 cent to a litre of fuel.
Today's protest in the Balearics gets underway at 10am and will see farmers on most of the main roads in the island, including in locations around Inca, Manacor, Algaida, Sa Pobla, Son Ferriol, Montuiri and Consell.

Meanwhile, the UGT union has also signalled their intention to hold a series of demonstrations beginning today in protest at the lack of response from the Ports Authority to negotiate improved pay and conditions for workers in Balearic ports under the terms of a 2004 deal.

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