Endless milk quotas: who paid is the dumbest?

Almost surprisingly, he comes back the story of milk quotas. Practically thirty years of history, half revolt against Europe which, in order to protect the price of the product (especially for the smallest ones), introduced precisely the production quotas divided by country and did so on the indication (it is a paradox) of the individual countries.

Basically he asked himself: you Italy how much you produce. Answer (but I go by heart): 105 million quintals a year. Great: from now on you cannot produce more milk, if you do you are fined. Heaven open: attack on freedom of enterprisebut what do these people here want, no one – I remember as it was yesterday a meeting of a category president in Orzinuovi – will be able to tell us if and how much to produce.

And on for months and the first few years. Then a new resumption of protests qhen it was discovered that Italy was actually producing more than it had claimed and therefore at that point he had to not only maintain the assigned level but even lower it. General pissing (understandable); a group of farmers sprinkle the direct Milan-Venice with pissprotests etc.

In the meantime, the market recognizes that Europe is there and therefore, by hook or by crook, it is necessary to adapt. A sort of milk quota exchange is born: the production quotas assigned to each stall are bought and sold: those who want to go ahead try to buy, those who want (or must) sell do so.

Let’s say that, over the years, the system gradually adapts and settles with the milk quotas that now become the heritage of every livestock farm and this until a few years ago when Europe eliminated milk quotas at the same time as the start of the new agricultural policy.

But underneath it the story was seething. From the beginning there were those who did not want to respect the rules on milk quotas (for the most diverse reasons) and therefore produced more milk than assigned and triggering the first conflicts with those who had to enforce the law. Parallel to this discontent, obviously that other ran and runs, that of those who continue to wonder why many, who have not respected the quotas, do not pay the fines provided. Reasoning briefly: we have respected the law by paying new quotas to produce more milk and why do those others not have to pay the fines if they have not respected the law?

In the meantime, producers in conflict with EU law have appealed in Italy and in Europe, obtaining different sentences but, very importantly, the sentence of the European Court of Justice which requires the Italian state to recalculate the amounts of the sanctions.

And we are in our days. The Revenue Agency has gone ahead on its old path and issued tax bills for over 1 billion. In the Brescia area there are about 150 farms involved.

Yesterday demonstration in Milan, delegation from the prefect to “intercede” on the Government and postpone the sanctions allowing 150 companies in Brescia (and other two thousand and passes in Lombardy) to be able to operate on current accounts. The prefect, we are sure, will have ensured his active interest. Now it’s hot, it’s Ferragosto, then September and then the elections. And so, whatever happens, it will be up to the new government. In the meantime, the thousands of farms that have paid their milk quotas in all these years remain here to wonder: are we the dumbest?