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The President of the Republic opened Maamess 2006

President Arnold Rüütel opened Maamess 2006.President Arnold Rüütel today opened Maamess 2006, the Premier Rural Fair, at Tartu Fairs Centre.

''It has never been easy for Estonian rural people and especially for farmers to earn their bread, but now there are more and more reasons to look into the future with optimism. From one hand, Estonian producers have to face ever-toughening competition. At the same time conditions of work and coping with everyday life are gradually improving as can be seen by the constantly modernised machinery and technology. Equally important is the capability to find new markets for our products,'' the President of the Republic said in his opening address.

President Rüütel noted that the European Union has played a significant role in our economic development, especially during the last two years. ''For diversification of rural economy, modernisation of food processing industry and for advancement of agricultural production billions of kroons have been allocated from the EU and Estonian state budget as subsidies. The sum allocated from the current year budget reaches already three billion kroons. For enterprising rural people it means additional money, new investments, increasing productivity, new job opportunities, and as a result of all that also a growing income,'' the Head of State added.

Following the festive opening ceremony, President Rüütel acquainted himself with the exhibits of the Fair.

The Fair has been entered in the calendar of major European fairs with similar orientation. More than 200 companies take part in this international fair that consists of four sections - 14th International Agricultural Fair, 12th International Timber Processing and Forestry Fair, 12th Food Fair, and 8th Horticultural Fair.

Public Relations Department of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 20, 2006

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