MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez received Friday a list of demands from independent small farmers, who organized a demonstration last Tuesday, and said he will study their requests in order to bring them into talks with leaders of the country’s agricultural associations.
The press was briefed on the matter by Marcelo Nougue, a spokesman for the group of small farmers demanding a series of cutbacks in public expenditures and concrete measures to deal with a situation they consider unfavorable for various productive sectors of the country.
“He (Vazquez) received the statement and the documents we gave him very courteously,” Nougue said.
The president also assured them, the spokesman said, that the govenrment is studying a series of measures to be taken in response to their demands and that he will communicate them to the associations of the sector.
“The fact that he received us and is studying the possibility of our uniting with these organizations to negotiate and discuss the problems outlined is a breakthrough,” he said.
The “One Uruguay” movement, which began as a series of complaints by small farmers, has received the support of other productive sectors in the country, like storekeepers and truckers.
Their demands include cutting gasoil costs, correcting a currency that does not keep up with inflation, and a 15 percent drop in electricity costs to spur competitiveness.
Working on behalf of the farmers are the Rural Development Commission, the Rural Association of Uruguay, the Federation of Agrarian Cooperatives, the Milk Producers Association, the Rice Growers Association and the Rural Federation of Uruguay, whose representatives will meet next Monday with Vazquez to discuss the measures.