Tractor protest, where are we at?

A relaxing meeting with the government today between the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida and the representatives of Riscatto Agricolo, but the local garrisons remain until the agreement reached, and the commitments made, are “black and white”. This was stated to Adnkronos by some farmers who are members of the movement, the protagonist of the tractor protest of recent days that has reached Rome. “We have achieved but we will not give up until the agreement is in black and white and in the various provinces we remain present, for example here in Brescia” says Davide Pedrotti, the young dairy cow breeder, Riscatto’s contact person for the Brescia area and who, among other things, would have liked to go on stage at Sanremo.

“Even if in Rome they are thinking of returning to their places of origin, around twenty garrisons will remain operational, in Lombardy, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Campania, Puglia, in Sardinia…” explains Pedrotti and announces that they will have to “wait until the 26th February when there will be the extraordinary meeting of the EU Commission in Brussels, where it will be seen whether the announced changes to the CAP will be implemented (first of all the stop to the obligation to leave 4% of land uncultivated). As for the Irpef exemption for incomes under 10 thousand euros, being studied by the government “is not the strong point of our protest, but rather that they pay us the right price for our products“.

On the same wavelength was Roberto Congia, spokesperson for Riscatto per la Sardinia, who had come to Rome in recent days and participated in the meeting with the minister Francesco Lollobrigida on Friday. “Actually, I haven’t yet heard from the spokespersons of the national coordination because I want to understand well how it went – explains Congia, reached by telephone from Adnkronos – I saw the press release, I’m happy because the platform also concerns Sardinia and if the opening of the table will be confirmed we will also be ready to demobilize and discuss with the institutions in a constructive manner on the eco-schemes for the sheep and goat sector”.

“We are more serene because there is a commitment to convene tables and discuss our platform – adds Congia – we welcome in a positive way the willingness to discuss and give certain answers, some have already arrived, such as for example for the exemption of “Irpef. So the climate is less aggressive. We are farmers and shepherds of Sardinia in Cagliari, Olbia and Porto Torres, and we continue to be united with the Riscatto Agricolo movement, in which there is no politics involved – he concludes – we await positive responses, We will all decide together what to do.”

Meanwhile, Congia announces, on February 15th in Bolotona, a municipality in the province of Nuoro, in the heart of the island, the Sardinian shepherds who support Riscatto Agricolo will hold a demonstration.

Lollobrigida: “Working with Mef for a new proposal on Irpef”

“On Irpef, together with colleagues Giorgetti and Leo we are working on a further proposal which guarantees agricultural entrepreneurs in the most relevant way possible” states the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Francesco Lollobrigida in a note. “Income support for the weakest and the reduction of production costs – he underlines – within a framework of equity, remain the guiding star of the executive led by Giorgia Meloni and I hope that anyone, beyond the parliamentary position, has the agricultural system at heart”.

Sources: “Irpef exemption rises, -50% for incomes between 10 thousand and 15 thousand euros”

“Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti and deputy minister Maurizio Leo, in close contact with minister Francesco Lollobrigida, are preparing a government amendment on the Irpef problem. A rule which provides, in addition to the exemption to exempt agricultural and domain incomes up to 10,000 euros from payment, also a 50% reduction in the amount to be paid for incomes between 10,000 and 15,000 euros. A rule that would only concern professional agricultural entrepreneurs and direct growers individually or in simple companies”. This was reported by majority parliamentary sources.

For the same sources, this is an amendment to the Milleproroghe which is “the demonstration of the Meloni government’s maximum commitment and closeness to farmers in these 16 months. A result, above expectations, which certifies the achievement of the agreement within the majority, which is due to the joint work of ministers Giorgetti, Lollobrigida and Ciriani and deputy minister Leo, who did their utmost to find the resources necessary to cover the costs of the measure”.

In Rome on Thursday: two tractors at the Colosseum and the garrison at the Circus Maximus

A new tractor ‘protest’ is expected on Thursday morning in Rome. Two acronyms, ‘Altragricoltura’ and ‘Productive People’ have notified the Rome police headquarters that, in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, around a hundred agricultural vehicles from Caserta, Fondi, Velletri and Abruzzo will arrive in the capital to position themselves in a private area in the Castel di Leva area. Thursday morning, February 15, two tractors, ‘escorted’ by the police, will arrive at the Colosseum.

On Thursday afternoon, however, the initiative of the Comitati Riuniti Agricoli (Cra) Farmers betrayed‘led’ among others by Danilo Calvani, at the Circus Maximus. “We absolutely will not go to next Thursday’s demonstration, it’s not ours” Maurizio Senigagliesi, spokesperson for the autonomous Riscatto Agricolo movement, told Adnkronos.

La Pietra: “In the coming weeks, discussion with regions and farmers”

“In the next weeks the government will open a discussion with the Regions and agricultural organizations to identify the supply chains to which the first support interventions should be allocated – said the undersecretary of Masaf, Patrizio La Pietra -, but as rightly highlighted by the farmers we must also work on an organic reform of the insurance system, so as to lower the costs of insurance policies for farmers, expand the pool of insured people and support farmers against catastrophic risks”. “The government also intends to strengthen the requirement that production is 100% Italian in origin, as direct aid to the national agri-food chain” he adds.

Tajani: “We are working on Irpef, but no to false promises”

There is a minimum base, which is 10 thousand euros, if you can get more, it’s better, we are working” says Antonio Tajani, Foreign Minister and secretary of FI, on the sidelines of a press conference in the Chamber. “We initially asked as Forza Italia for a total exemption, but the problem concerns the accounts, we are working with Minister Giorgetti because in any case, we start from a base of 10 thousand and if we can get more, even better, but we must always be responsible.” “Already with the quota of 10 thousand euros, 80% of agricultural companies are exempted, so it is already a very important result . But this is obviously not enough, we need to do much more, we need an overall strategy”, adds Tajani.

The positions of the League that asks for more? “All the rules were approved by everyone in the Council of Ministers, if the situation can be improved we are always ready to do so, but we need proposals that are not demagogic but which can allow us to resolve the problems, we are against making false promises“, replies the minister.

‘Great satisfaction’ Lega on agricultural income tax

League sources express “great satisfaction” with “the government’s determination to review the provision on Irpef”, as “as requested since last week by Matteo Salvini”, it is underlined.

Bonelli: “Government attacks green policies to hide responsibility”

“The government created the problem with farmers by increasing taxes on them and today, for divert attention from one’s responsibilities, attacks the green transition and it does so while the climate crisis causes enormous damage: in 2022 the drought caused 6 billion euros of damage to agriculture and, in general silence and without any worried reaction from the government, the Sicily Region declared a state of calamity natural due to the drought already in February” said the national co-spokesperson of Green Europe and deputy of the Green and Left Alliance, Angelo Bonelli.

“I share most of the farmers’ demands, from unfair competition, to the role of large-scale retail trade, to the reform of the CAP voted for in Europe also by the League and FdI, which gives resources to large multinationals to the detriment of small farmers. As ecologists – he continues – we do not agree on the elimination of setting aside 4% of the land, an agricultural practice. Our grandparents and great-grandparents practiced resting the land, a practice also called ‘fallow’, which allows the recovery of soil fertility, the reduction of erosion and the increase in biodiversity: ‘A field that has rested gives an abundant harvest, ‘wrote Ovid'”.

“I give the government an appointment next spring/summer, when there will be no water for the fields and the drought will unfortunately bring our agriculture to its knees. Irresponsibly, climate policies are being attacked, knowing full well that the climate crisis is the worst enemy of the agriculture”, concludes Bonelli.

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