IN SHORT

Farm subsidies in the mail

SLOVAK farmers should receive 80 percent of their subsidies for 2005, around Sk7.8 billion (€205 million), by the end of this year, the SITA news agency wrote.

"We will deliver our decision on payments to our regional departments during this week and next," said Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon at a news conference on December 5, adding that farmers would get the remaining Sk2 billion (€52 million) at the beginning of next year.

"Including some other forms of support, farmers will thus receive a total of Sk9.2 billion (€242 million) and the end of this year," said the minister.

In addition to this money, the Agricultural Payment Agency (PPA) has paid another Sk3 billion (€79 million) in subsidies to farmers between the beginning of this year and the end November.

PPA received 13,800 applications for subsidies this year. After the payments are made, Simon expects the farm sector will end the year with a result similar to last year's, when it recorded an overall profit of Sk1.6 billion (€42 million).

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