February 2, 2024
Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) warns agricultural organizations not to go to the Constitutional Court to challenge the nitrogen decree of the Flemish government.
Demir claims to understand the problems the farmers face, but thinks the farmers’ blockades go too far. “I don’t think it is acceptable to hold many people and the economy hostage,” the minister said in “The appointment on Friday” on VRT Canvas.
She warned farmers not to go to the Constitutional Court to challenge the newly approved nitrogen decree. “If the Constitutional Court annuls that, it will not be to the advantage of farmers,” said Demir, who points out that the Council of State has recommended that it be even stricter than the nitrogen decree.
‘And what the Council of State also says – also hallucinating – is that the 2 billion euros that we are releasing for the agricultural sector may be too much money. That is also stated in the advice.’
The minister’s message to the farmers’ organizations is therefore: anyone who does go to the Constitutional Court risks returning home from a bare journey.
She also lashed out at the European Commission and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD). This week, at the request of De Croo, among others, the Commission decided to provide some compensation to farmers. For example, the introduction of the obligation to leave 4 percent of agricultural land fallow has been postponed.
“With a year’s delay, those farmers won’t buy anything,” says Demir. ‘That’s not what the debate is about, and I don’t think that’s correct. Because the farmers are only going to get angrier. I blame that on politics.’