FEBRUARY 28 2012 23:40h
Nothing can't be solved on a road - this was the message the Government addressed to dairymen. But what did the Government actually do to make dairymen return to their farms with their tractors? It directed them to negotiations or court lawsuits against milk processors like that case doesn't concern them and as their position is neutral. And the Government took sides well. The side has been taken the moment when the department minister concluded that the protest was politically organized, like he wasn't aware of the fact that farmers usually vote for right oriented parties. And like that is a proof that the dairymen problems are continuous but not real. But what if some dairyman appears in front of cameras holding ID of Croatian national party which is the member of ruling coalition?
A thesis about invisible hand of opposition operating behind the scene in order to press dairymen to block the roads is not only useless but it surely becomes an unconvincing story. And then they are trying to use wrong methods, so controversial stories about dairymen were being launched over media. They arrive by emails without sender. However highlighted touch of intelligence agency reveals that sources are not far from official ones. So we read about how expensive dairymen tractors are, how big subventions they use, how big is their children's pocket money.... Like revealing some scandalous information from individual files will solve problems of agriculture. Or it creates an impression those dairymen have simply imagined their problems.
If the milk production was so lucrative as some information of ''profligacy'' of Croatian dairymen suggested, we wouldn't have the excess of unsold apartments, but market excess of milk. Money, ''washed'' or earned one, wouldn't be invested in a real estate business but in a milk production. And it would be completely normal people substituting comfort of urban professional for an idyllic of milk farms, including milking, cleaning of stables and brushing cows. But that is not happening though, no matter the fact dairymen receive big incentives and purchase prices ''like ones in Europe''.
When the state would be the only intermediate in the quarrel between milk producers and milk processors, first, it would determine the real goal of both sides and it wouldn't be choosing sides. The state has however, discredited one side, and that act discredits the state as possible intermediate, but it can't be a mere intermediate though. The Government mandate is much more demanding, it handles the agricultural policy, policy of manufacturing development , market functioning, employment and life standard of the citizens.
The former Government paid the price of coalition with the Croatian peasant party with high but uncontrolled and mal directed subventions coming from the state budget. Dairymen were somehow victims of that policy as well. They were persuaded to high credits that were hard to be paid according to current purchase prices. Milanovic's government is obviously introducing a different policy, that could bring some results progressively, but dairymen demand their problems to be solved now. So the reasonable thing would be the Government that tries to help them, at least as a good intermediation in the quarrel with milk processors. The other reasonable thing would be the Government patiently explaining its new policy. Except if this policy actually doesn't care about domestic milk production as it will allow foreign milk tanks to import milk in one moment. And dairymen are afraid this thing might happen. But I can't believe that might occur.