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No financial aid for Saxon fruit and wine growers after frost damage

Frost damage on a vine. Many vines did not survive the severe frost / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa
Frost damage on a vine. Many vines did not survive the severe frost / Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa

Saxon fruit and wine growers receive no financial aid from the general budget of the Free State following immense frost damage. Ministry of Finance confirms lack of opportunities.

After the immense frost damage, Saxony's fruit and winegrowing businesses will not receive any help from the state's general budget. As the latest tax estimate has shown, it will not be possible to finance the aid to help Saxon wine and fruit growers cope with the frost damage from the Saxon general budget, the Saxon Ministry of Finance announced on request.

In the night of April 23, the temperature in the Saxon fruit and wine-growing regions dropped to minus seven degrees at ground level across the board and for several hours. Although night frosts are not unusual in the second half of April, the previously high temperatures meant that the fruit trees and vines had started flowering particularly early and were already well advanced by the end of April. The plants were therefore particularly susceptible to damage. The Saxony & Saxony-Anhalt Fruit Growers' Association recently estimated the crop loss at between 50 and 70 million euros.

This week, the Saxon Environment Minister held out the prospect of financial aid for the fruit and wine-growing businesses in Saxony. "The damage is dramatically high, the industry needs help, and it will get it," said Wolfram Günther (Greens). However, the actual damage has not yet been recorded. "We are currently examining all possible support options together with the other ministries. The cabinet will take the necessary decision as soon as possible," Günther emphasized.

According to the latest tax estimate, the Free State will have to make do with significantly less revenue than originally expected. According to the Ministry of Finance, the Saxon state budget can expect tax revenue of 19.1 billion euros this year - around 385 million euros less than the previous estimate. Finance Minister Hartmut Vorjohann (CDU) said that the time of additional projects and ever new plans was over. "We will have to tighten our belts considerably in the state budget."

Environment Minister Günther had explained, however, that the state government had adopted funding guidelines for emergencies a few years ago. "The Ministry of Finance has budget reserves and surpluses, for example from the hardship aid from the energy crisis." However, there are no proposals on how to secure the aid already announced by making corresponding savings elsewhere in the Ministry of the Environment's available budget, according to the Ministry of Finance.

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