Various parties in the House are pointing fingers at each other over the problems faced by farmers today. Agriculture Minister David Clarenvall (MR) has announced a number of initiatives to address a number of farmers' complaints, but these have not always been received with great enthusiasm in the hemisphere.
Kim Buist (Green) accused CD&V, Open Vld and Vlaams Belang of voting in favor of European agricultural policy. Marianne Verhart (Open Vld) hit the ball again: “Anyone who always blindly puts nature first should not be surprised that farmers feel deprived.”
Barbara Bas (Vlaams Belang) blamed all other parties for voting for the Green Deal, while Raoul Hidebo (PVDA) thought the Liberals were too much in favor of the monopolists. “There's a lot of bickering,” said Peter De Ruover (N-VA). He called for measures to strengthen farmers' position vis-à-vis other players.
Much attention has been paid to the Mercosur agreement. This is the trade agreement with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay that Europe has been negotiating for a long time. The Walloon government announced on Wednesday carrément To be against this agreement. In the House of Representatives, the Greens would also prefer to see it end up in the wastebasket, while Wouter Beck (CD&V) and Vicki Reinart (Furwett) call for clear changes to the text. These should relate to social standards, agricultural conditions and climatic standards.
In his response, Minister Clarenvall mentioned the possibility of establishing a working group that would work on fewer administrative procedures, as well as a task force that would examine fair pay – in the form of a “Task Force on Ukraine.” The minister said about the Mercosur agreement: “Without a serious mirror clause to protect the agricultural component, I do not see an agreement on a free trade agreement.”
Christophe Lacroix (PS) replied: “We want a political answer, and you have given a bureaucratic answer.” Kim Buist talked about “a little fiddling in the margins.”
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