Talks between farmers and gov?t reach deadlock
Monday, February 28, 2005, 00:00
Farmers are expected to continue their protest rally with road blocks throughout the country today, as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Imre Németh suspended talks as of Friday in response to the demonstrators? plans to continue protests on Saturday. According to István Hevesi, Spokesman for the National Federation of Farmers? Associations and Co-operatives (Magosz), the organization is officially planning a single lane closure at the border crossing of Rédics at the Slovenian border. However, unofficial sources reported plans to block other roads in Hajdú-Bihar and Békés county, eastern Hungary, as well as in the southwestern Zala country. Yesterday saw the representatives of the ministry and agricultural producers waiting for each other to continue talks at two different locations, at the ministry and at the Agricultural Research Institute, a satellite organization of the ministry. The farmers said they did not understand why talks stalled after a promising start. According to Magosz President István Jakab, the leader of the demonstrations, farmers lost confidence in Imre Németh and prefer to resume negotiations with Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány. However, Government Spokeswoman Boglár László said this was not possible.