A hundred professionals from agriculture and livestock have demonstrated this Tuesday through the streets of Toledo to denounce “the diversion of funds” that the regional government is making from the PDR to the “maintenance of the beach bar” of Geacam, while the people who are dedicated to the sector are doomed to “extinction”, as reported by Europa Press.

Summoned by the Union of Unions and the Platform in defense of ecological agriculture and livestock in Castilla-La Mancha, the protesters, led by a wooden cart occupied by a person dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh with the face of the regional president, Emiliano García-Page , have staged a kind of viacrucis to denounce that “the regional administration is like the ancient pharaohs and the farmers are the ones who pull the strings”.

Under the slogan ‘The PDR money for those who work and live in the countryside’, the conveners have been against a public service such as the one provided by Geacam being paid for with European funds destined for Rural Development and the maintenance of the activity agrarian, “where they are plugged into political positions that have lost elections with stratospheric salaries.”

Hence, they demand that the money from the PDR be allocated entirely to organic agriculture and livestock and to prevent its abandonment, while proposing that the fire prevention and extinction service be paid for by the Community Board’s own funds, with labor personnel own, 12 months and not precarious. They warn that in order to maintain Geacam some 500 million of the PDR (30%) are diverted, a derivation that implies a decrease in the funds destined for aid to beekeeping, to disadvantaged areas, to the maintenance of biodiversity or to the incorporation of young people .

“If these aid lines are not activated, there will continue to be bleeding of professionals who leave,” warned the president of the Union of Unions in the region, Andrés García.

That said, he explained that they are in negotiation with the union representations of Geacam, in order to unite them to his cause. He has detailed that these organizations have not signed the protest this Tuesday for not sharing the approach. “We will continue to iron out these frictions to join both political parties and the Geacam unions to close a joint document that requires that these funds not move.”

Asked about the low presence of protesters in front of the broad representation of political parties -they have come from the PP, Vox, Podemos and Ciudadanos-, the person in charge of Union of Unions has excused the absence of more farmers alleging that these dates are bad to be absent from the field, because they have “a lot of work”.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Platform in Defense of Organic Agriculture and Livestock, Anastasio Yébenes, has complained that the regional government allocates money “to rescue the lynx and the golden eagle, but not to rescue farmers and ranchers” , warning that “some are committing suicide.”

Special difficulty is presented by those of organic farming, he warned, which have suffered cuts since 2016 “and the consequence is almost 50,000 hectares less of cereal.”

“I don’t know how they plan to fulfill the 2030 Agenda if they don’t put money. Before, the Cospedal government was blamed, which had promised money that it did not have. That has been his song during the 6 years that we have been in battle. But now, who do they blame?

«The bet they make for organic farming is to remove funds to allocate them to Geacam, which has gone from having a budget of 50 to 100 million. We are not against this public company, but we do not want it to be a beach bar where the president is fingering high-ranking political officials through the back door », he condemned.

With great uproar, the protesters have made themselves known through the streets of the Historic Center of Toledo where the demonstration has taken place, which, as a way of the cross, has been making stops along its route to make known the reasons that have led out into the street.

The performance has started from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development, where they have delivered their demands, to then go to the Plaza de Padilla.

From there they headed for Calle de la Plata, leading to Zocodover, the city’s old market for beasts. At all times, the spokesman for the Platform in defense of ecological agriculture and livestock in Castilla-La Mancha, with microphone in hand and as a ‘speaker’, has been releasing slogans that have caught the attention of passers-by who at that time already filled the narrow streets of the old quarter of the city.

In his speeches, Yébenes has accused the regional president of being the main culprit in the loss of inhabitants of the rural world, alleging that with “ATMs and the Internet” the towns are not filled. He has also claimed that the social base of Castilla-La Mancha are its farmers and ranchers, who are “in danger of extinction”, since the field has become a profession “only for the brave”. “They are going to have to rescue us like the lynx and the imperial eagle,” he has shouted.

The protest, after paralyzing and causing mobility difficulties on Calle Ancha, Hombre de Palo and Calle Trinidad, has led to Santo Tomé to end in Plaza del Conde, at the gates of the Palacio de Fuensalida, headquarters of the regional Executive.

There, and in the midst of a strong police device, they have made the symbolic delivery of the 500 million that the Government of Castilla-La Mancha “has snatched” from professionals in the field to maintain Geacam.

On the part of the PP, the spokeswoman for the Popular Group in the Cortes, Lola Merino, has denounced that the Executive “has already deceived on different occasions” this group, recalling that the regional Executive promised to “recover the aid” while “today As of today, that pact has not been fulfilled.”

On behalf of Vox, the deputy for Toledo in the Congress of Deputies, Inés Cañizares, has recognized that Geacam “has more than 2,000 employees who perform a necessary environmental management function”, but has criticized that on the part of this public company “funds that correspond to farmers are being diverted” and that are being used “to maintain that unnecessary structure of political and superfluous spending.”

On his side, the leader of Podemos in the region, José Luis García Gascón, recalled how his formation promoted from the regional Parliament in the last legislature different measures via budget amendments to increase funds for this type of agriculture and livestock, adding the progress achieved in this mandate in the national government, such as the Food Chain Law.

Finally, on the part of Cs, the regional coordinator of the party, Carmen Picazo, after regretting the management of the regional government with aid “that is always late”, has focused on the fact that the field has not had elections “in more than 40 years”, assuring that “it is time to have free elections” to face the “serious problems” of the countryside “hand in hand with farmers”.

Recently, the plenary session of the European Parliament has demanded from European governments national strategies, more support for producers and a shorter supply chain to favor the development of organic farming in the EU as a whole.

And it is that MEPs consider that this type of agriculture is a “key” element to achieve the environmental and climate objectives that the bloc has set and are committed to designing “national and regional” plans and greater support for research and innovation in the sector.