Azorean Government says that “the State is not the continent” and demands support for agriculture

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The president of the Azores Government, José Manuel Bolieiro, said today that the “State is not the continent” and demanded again the extension to the region of national measures to support agriculture.

Speaking to journalists, the leader of the Azorean executive reiterated that the “national measures taken by the country’s government are for the country,” after the Ministry of Agriculture explained to Lusa that the ordinances n.º 120-A/2023 and 120-B/2013 do not include the autonomous regions, since in question is a support financed exclusively by the State Budget (OE).

“I agree that there should be no interference in the autonomy, but I firmly and determinedly agree that the State is to meet the needs of the State and that the government of the country is to govern the country and support, in national measures, not only the continent, but also the Azores and Madeira,” Bolieiro told reporters in Santa Cruz das Flores, after the meeting with the Island Council.

At issue is a “state aid in support of the economy following the aggression of Ukraine by Russia” and the “extraordinary support measure for mainland farmers, aimed at mitigating the effect of rising prices on production costs for the year 2023.”

Questioned about the fact that those supports were supported by the State Budget, Bolieiro insisted that “the State is not the continent.

“There is a contradiction right away in the terms. State budget. The state is not the continent,” he pointed out.

About the PS/Azores’ position, which accused the Regional Government of “deceiving the Azoreans” due to the statements about those supports, the president of the Azorean executive condemned the “confusion” generated by the socialists’ position.

“The PS thinks one thing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and another on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, because just the other day it unanimously approved a resolution demanding the fair application of national measures to all Portuguese. If there is confusion, it comes from the PS,” he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture assured today to Lusa that it will support all farmers, while not interfering with the autonomy of the islands, after criticism pointing to the exclusion of the Azores from production support.

“…] The Government of the Republic supported, supports and will support all farmers in the country, whether on the mainland or the islands, always within the scope of its powers and never interfering in the autonomy of the governments of the Autonomous Regions,” defended the ministry headed by Maria do Céu Antunes, in response to Lusa.

In recent months, the Azorean government, the opposition, and farmers have criticized the region’s exclusion from national support to mitigate the impact of the war in Ukraine and the resulting rise in costs.

On Friday, the Azores Assembly unanimously approved a resolution from the PSD/CDS-PP/PPM coalition, which includes the Regional Government, demanding that the Government of the Republic extend national support for agriculture and cattle-raising to the autonomous regions.

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