THE Farmers Union has welcomed the fuel agreement and called off the tractor protest.
The Majorcan branch of the Farmers Union welcomed as “positive” the agreement made between the Central Government and the Agricultural sector to alleviate the effects of the rise in the price of fuel and has announced that, because of this, it has cancelled the tractor protest scheduled for today. The General Secretary of the Majorcan Farmers Union, Biel Torrens, said that the agreement is a very important step. “Although the agreement hasn't quite reached our expectations, it has opened the door to further possibilities” said the General Training Co-ordinator, Margalida Estelrich, who added that the negotiations with the Ministry had been “very difficult”. For the General Co-ordinator of the Majorcan Farmers Union, the package of measures approved by the Government, which total 390 million euros, is a “very important agreement”. Torrens said that the “professional fuel” will not be available until January of 2009 when it is believed that there will be a special fuel which, he added, “will be free from the Special Fuel Tax and attract VAT at just 7 percent, which is the minimum permitted by the European Union, rather than the current 17 percent.” The Secretary General pointed out that, as well as the elimination of tax on fuel for the agricultural sector, “steps will be taken to create a committee to promote the use of alternative forms of energy”. Torrens said the new financial measures, among which is a rise of 1 percent in VAT for agricultural products and 0.5 percent for cattle products, will help to improve the daily work of the farmers.

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