Both electronic and handwritten rentals will be valid for 2022

Both electronic and handwritten rentals will be valid for 2022
Both electronic and handwritten rentals will be valid for 2022

The Minister of Rural Development and Food, Spilios Libanos, appealed in an interview with the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency today, to the producers to trust the electronic leases of fields and pastures, however, as he noted for the 22 this year. electronics, handwritten leases will also be accepted. "We must all together lead agricultural production forward, and this can only be done through transparency and credibility of all against all. "Digitization is one such tool," he said. However, it will have to implement this commitment in writing, either by revoking the decision of last May, or by revoking the relevant circular of OPEKEPE and amending it, in order to provide for the submission of handwritten rentals. It should also be clarified with relevant instructions, whether this possibility will be given to both annual and perennial crops and pastures, because at the beginning of the week the president of OPEKEPE, Dimitris Melas, had suggested "derogations only for certain cases that it is difficult or impossible to write online rentals in the coming months, e.g. cases of inheritance ".

Mr. Libanos spoke to APE, about the efforts made to contain the production costs as well as the measures that have been taken for this purpose. He noted that "this is a dynamic situation that we are constantly examining and whenever necessary we take action."

The interview of the Minister of Rural Development and Food, Spilios Libanos:

- We are entering a period when farmers are used to mobilizing. Are you worried that the voices for mobilizations are growing stronger, projecting the high cost of production?

The increase in production costs is a result of the energy crisis. It does not only concern Greece. This is a global phenomenon that is affecting the whole of Europe. From the very beginning, the government stood by Greek households and professionals with targeted and effective measures. Since last September, we have allocated more than 1.3 billion euros to support the Greek family in the face of the unprecedented energy crisis.

Of course, our main concern is to support our farmers in order to contain production costs. And of course I am always open to dialogue and creative suggestions. After all, the complex, modern problems cannot be solved by protests of another era.

- Is the cost of production restrained?

We are trying and that is why we are constantly taking measures in order to mitigate the consequences of the energy crisis for our farmers:

We covered 80% of the adjustment clause in the agricultural tariffs from August to December.
We subsidized the agricultural tariffs for January by 50% of the increased costs.
We have suspended the payment of Utility Charges for medium-sized agricultural enterprises.
We apply from this year for the first time after 2016, the return of the excise tax on oil, for cooperative producers, participants in contract farming and young farmers and stockbreeders.
We reduced the VAT on animal feed to 6% from 13%.
- Do you intend to take other measures?

Obviously, this is a dynamic situation that we are constantly examining and whenever necessary we take action. This is what we have done so far in the five months since the energy crisis broke out, we will do the same from now on. The Government and the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis are constantly proving that they move with logic, realism and prudence, supporting the Greek society, the Greek countryside and our producers.

- A recent problem is what the recent bad weather has created in the crops. What is provided for those who suffered damage?

Our government in any problem or natural disaster - whether fires or extreme weather events - has been and is on the side of the producers paying compensation immediately and not after years as usual until recently. Utilizing national and co-financed resources:

We activated measures of the RDP for the prevention and restoration of damages from catastrophic events in collaboration with ELGA and the Forest Services.
We immediately legislated the first relief measures for the benefit of the victims and amended the RDP in the same direction.
We supported the producers in the big fires of the summer.
In total, ELGA paid in 2021 almost 300 million euros in producer compensation (spring frost and other losses of the year).
We paid almost 5.5 million euros to the TOEB of the country that were affected by IANO for the restoration of their proper operation.
We implemented direct disbursements through the State Aid, amounting to almost 6 million only for our farmers.
We created a telephone support line 1540 at the Ministry for immediate recording of the problems of the fire victims
And in the disasters caused by the snowstorm "Elpis" we will act accordingly. ELGA crews are already recording the areas that have been damaged and the producers will be compensated according to the provisions.

- One of the demands of the rural world is the support from the state of entrepreneurship with liquidity. What have you done in this area?

With our policy we create the modern profile of the Greek farmer and the Greek peasant woman and we highlight the agricultural profession as a product of free and conscious choice and not a choice of need for our young people. In this logic we support entrepreneurship and liquidity in the agricultural sector with resources of the RDP.

We secured 480 million euros from the Rural Development Guarantee Fund for the lending of new investment projects (repayment period from 1 to 15 years).
We activated the Microcredit Fund of 21.5 million euros, managed by the Hellenic Development Bank for the provision of loans for investments and working capital up to 25,000 euros.
We voted for the possibility for producers to be able to receive loans of up to 25,000 euros from the banking system without the obligation to provide insurance information until 31.12.2022.
However, you are well aware that the "tool" that helps producers in terms of liquidity is the "farmer card". What about this issue? When will it be activated?

With coordinated actions, we are bringing the activation of the farmer card faster this year, in order to face the acute problems that have been created due to the pandemic and the economic hardship brought to the rural world by the increased production costs, especially the increased cost of agricultural supplies for current production. period. Let me remind you that in the previous two years (2020 and 2021) we had taken similar initiatives to facilitate the producers, but at later dates (30.3.2020 and 18.3.2021 respectively).

This year, Piraeus Bank, accepting the arguments I presented to you earlier, will start accepting requests for new Farmer Cards on Tuesday 8.2.2022. We take advantage of every opportunity that exists to be constantly on the side of the Greek farmer.

- There is a big issue with the electronic leases that are mandatory for the IACS 2022 declaration. What do you intend to do?

The government, moving towards the modernization and digitization of all procedures, but also towards the easier control through cross-checking with AADE, legislated on this issue in time, already in May 2021.

Specifically, we predicted that for the year of IACS 2022 applications, the leases should be electronic. This change will remain. We do not back down in terms of transparency and credibility.

However, a series of objective difficulties, which do not allow producers to comply with these procedures, lead me to allow handwritten leases this year, along with electronic ones. In particular, the non-completion of the Land Registry in the whole country, the pending issues observed with land reclamation, the existence of complex inheritance issues, where many citizens have not settled, the pending finalization of forest maps, as well as the pandemic and the peculiarities this implies, they make it necessary to keep the handwritten leases for another year.

But I want to be clear. I appeal to the producers to trust the electronic leases. We must all work together to drive agricultural production, and this can only be done through transparency and credibility of all. Digitization is one such tool. In any case, within the framework of the rationalization policy, we will carry out exhaustive controls to defend legality.

- How do you comment on Mr. Tsipras's move to file a motion of censure?

It is not the first time that Mr. Tsipras shows that he perceives every crisis that our country is facing, as an opportunity to play petty partisan games ... He does this systematically throughout his career. Especially now that he realizes that SYRIZA is stuck and not only can not reduce its difference from ND, but also feels that KINAL is getting closer and closer to him.

Everything blames the polls and everything runs from behind and dances to the rhythms of their findings! What he does not realize, however, is that our fellow citizens are not at all interested in his own anxieties. From the management of the pandemic to the response to extreme weather events and from the strengthening of the country's defense to our shielding against the international energy crisis, do you know what Greek women and men see? A government that tries, fights, maybe it does not always succeed perfectly but it fights and when something goes wrong it knows how to apologize ... And an opposition that never backs down, never makes any proposal, never recognizes anything right, only waiting for greetings in the corner ...

That is why our fellow citizens continue to trust the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis -even after its difficult moments- and turn their backs on Mr. Tsipras. And in Parliament these days, we have another opportunity to talk about the serious steps forward that our country has taken in the last 2.5 years in all areas. As Minister of Rural Development and Food, I am honestly very pleased that - through the motion of censure - I am given the opportunity to present the great work that has been done for our producers and our products.