Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) – Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) sees danger in agriculture in southwest in referendum on species protection He sharply criticized the requested ban on pesticides in protected areas in Stuttgart on Tuesday. "It would have dramatic consequences for thousands of conventional and organic farms," he said. "And that in our view is not going to happen." One would not accept the account of the initiator of ProBien, as it would have fatal consequences.
Under the motto "Save the Bees," conservationists have been collecting petition signatures for the conservation of multiple species in the country for two weeks now. To be successful, one in ten voters must sign off in the next few months – that's about 770,000 people. Then the bill will be submitted to the state parliament for a vote. If MPs reject the draft, a referendum will be held. The state parliament could object to the demands of the nature protector and his own design.
Agricultural associations have repeatedly criticized the demands of the referendum. Accordingly, the proportion of land on which pesticides are used will be halved by 2025. They should be banned in protected areas. In addition, organic agriculture is expected to expand to 50 percent by 2035.
Kretschmann had been hesitant since the referendum, but was not so clearly positioned in the public. Concerns about the referendum were basically correct, he said Tuesday. It is also indisputable that the use of pesticides contributes to the decline in biodiversity. But agriculture also makes an important contribution to the cultural landscape.
The state government has agreed that a ban on pesticides for all protected areas will not go. One third of the agricultural area is in such protected areas. Protected areas also have the purpose of preserving cultural landscapes from the pressure of settlements and road construction.
Kretschmann said there was a lot of talk with the initiators. Round tables and forums are considered. Before that, the green-black coalition must first position itself. The state government is now clarifying what the alternative to the draft might look like. He hopes to have results by the middle of next week.
It is nasty at first because you have no experience with such a referendum, Kretschmann admitted. With the referendum, citizens can decide for the first time on a bill in the country. The referendum could no longer be easily changed in the process and was harder to correct than the parliament's decisions, Kretschmann said. If you bring a sketch in parallel, you need to enlighten the population.
Kretschmann was convinced that he was successful with his own design. Many believed that things were the same in the southwest as in the Bavarian referendum. There, nearly 18.4 percent of voters voted in favor of greater protection. However, in this country the demands of conservationists continue. "What Söder did, we did a long time," Kretschmann said, looking at his Bavarian counterpart Markus Söder (CSU). "If everyone understands this, I'm not at all afraid that they won't follow us." It is also not afraid of damaging the core of the green brand.
Despite the criticism, bee holders announced Tuesday that it was good that Kretschmann was in principle in favor of a referendum. "If the PM criticizes the ban on pesticides in protected areas, we take that into consideration and ask him to put forward a better proposal." Just keep injecting them into protected areas, as the Prime Minister's solution couldn't have been before. A referendum spokesman also lamented the lack of communication with the State Department. So in early July, Kretschmann announced on one occasion that she wanted to come to her – after that nothing ever happened again.