Should a List of Recipients of Agricultural Subsidies be Published?

Why is the Bavarian Government against publishing who are the recipients of agricultural subsidies? The legal situation seems pretty clear. There is, after all, a leading decision. Besides, the distribution of the money is in the public interest. Also, the European Union take a rather high penalty fine in case of non-publication (a fine which, eventually, the tax payers would have to pay).

Yet they are hesitant about publishing who actually receives the EU subsidies. What is the reason for this?

All that remains for us is speculation. I am sure the reason is not that one farmer might get envious of his neighbour in the village (that is what a voter of the “Freie Wähler” thought this morning in a radio interview).

It is just possible that lobbyists, along with politicians, managed to modify the criteria for receiving the subsidies in such a way as to be particularly beneficial to the big “Agrarian Industrialists”. But this is all just conjecture. The only thing that is certain is that a relevant group of citizens (probably the farmers) might get angry on finding out who the recipients were. This might cause a change in their voting habits, which, in times of election, is not welcome. Just imagine what a milk farmer would think on learning that the big creamery really got it all! The milk farmer might vote for the pirate party!

And looking at the latest federal record deficit, all you can do is wonder how much of it disappears in subsidy channels and who are all the people who get the taxpayers’ money.

By the way, there are also 20 billion Euros among the latest deficit that go towards subsidizing the Federal Job Agency. This might have something to do with reduced hours. Enterprises reduce production and thereby optimize the cost of a prudent use of short-time work, and the taxpayer pays for it. I discover a new enterprise on reduced hours almost every day (yesterday it was Volkswagen, who will hardly manage to build enough VW Polo’s, this morning it was Bahn AG) and wonder how they manage. At the moment, it is not easy to understand what is happening.

(translated by EG)

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