Negotino, 6th July 2012 (MIA) – Government paid subsidies to vine growers and wine cellars in full amount. Government paid over Denar 740 million to 23,500 farmers.

– All funds, up to the last denar, are paid to vine growers and wine cellars. We paid more than Denar 740 million precisely for this purpose, including around Denar 500 million paid for the existing vine plantations and Denar 2 per kilogram of grapes we have provided. Funds are also paid to wine cellars and for new vine plantations, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, said today in Negotino, where he met Negotino businessmen.

He informed that farmers have already received the funds on their accounts. He emphasized that farmers and all those engaged in production and processing of grapes can count on Government support in future as well, since such funds, as he pointed out, are not only important to the vine growers and the wine cellars, but also to the overall economy, since many other companies have benefit from the turnover of such funds, and that is how support is felt in Negotino, Kavadarci and all regions where subsidies are paid.

In addition to subsidies, as support to the Macedonian economy, the Minister pointed out the provided EUR 111 million and invited them to apply to the banks and Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion as soon as possible so as to employ such funds.

– We informed Negotino businessmen to apply to the banks and the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion as soon as possible so as to withdraw the funds, i.e. EUR 100 million we provided from the European Investment Bank, with 5.5% interest, part of which is subsidized from the budget so for such funds to be cheaper for the businessmen, and additional EUR 11 million we provided through capitalization of MBDP, with interest rate of only 3%, intended for enterprises engaged in purchasing, processing and exporting agricultural products, and there are many such enterprises in the Tikves region. There are no cheaper funds on the market, there are no better conditions in Europe than those we provided and I believe this will help Macedonian companies to overcome the new European crisis and the dropped orders from Europe so as to ensure liquid funds, and I also hope for investment funds further on, Stavreski said.

He added that longer-term measures to be provided by the Government were also discussed at the meeting. He informed on the project for gasification of Macedonia which, as he underlined, is especially important for Negotino, since this town is set as priority for the first branch, the one to run from Klecovce to Negotino and possible connection of TPP Negotino in that stage when the branch is constructed. According to him, this will help, on the long run, for costs of enterprises in this region, as well as throughout Macedonia, as regards this energy source to drop, which is an important strategic issue.

Minister Stavreski underlined that a large potential for export of Macedonian agricultural products is the Russian market and that, in the past years, export significantly increased.

– We will accomplish this through agreements we signed in the past two years with the Minister of Agriculture and businessmen from Macedonia and Russia. We opened the doors to market early season products and other agricultural products, however, the processed products remain an open issue, Stavreski said, adding that activities undertaken by the Government, direct meetings and discussions with businessmen from Macedonia and Russia, will increase export of agricultural and other products to Russia.

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