The Macedonian government were threatened with a general strike by the country’s union of cattle breeders’ associations yesterday [Thursday] if it fails to guarantee a higher farm gate price by 14 January [Monday].

According to local newspaper Nova Makedonija, the union is demanding that milk should be recognised as a strategic product and that the government should therefore declare that 2001 was a year of natural disaster because of the unfavourable developments in the dairy sector.

The price of milk per litre, say the cattle breeders, should be formed according to the milk butter content, and they have asked the government to extend a €0.05 (US$0.04) subsidy per litre of milk to the producers.