GALLERY: Farmers take hundreds of tractors to Toompea in demand of aid (2)
Farmers are demonstrating in front of the Parliament building today, demanding that the EU transitional allowances make it to 2016 state budget and the government give them with more support.
According to Roomet Sõrmus, the head of the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce, the sanctions imposed by Russia on Estonian dairy and pork products, coupled with the spread of the African Swine Fever, have left the industry in a deep crisis.
As this is at least partly the result of political decisions, the state should carry at least part of the costs, farmers say. Today's demonstrators hope that the government will meet their demands and put in place conditions similar to those imposed in Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, so that they are no longer disadvantaged.
Although some critics say that times are tough and farmers are overproducing, closing down some of the farms is hardly an option in many rural areas, which are already struggling with lack of jobs and the resulting depopulation.
The demonstration on Toompea hill is scheduled for 14:00. Up to few hundred tractors are expected to drive to town for the protest, so commuters should be vary of any resulting traffic congestions in the city center and on main highways.