Polish farmers have begun to get what they were promised when Poland was negotiating its EU entry.
Roughly 1.4 million of them applied for direct payments to help offset investments made to meet EU standards. Farmers were to get 116 euros each per hectare of land. Most Polish farms cover less than ten hectares. Subsidies for less favoured rural areas included, the outlay will reach about 1.8 billion euros by early in 2005. National funds are topping up those coming from the EU community budget. A survey done last month showed that the traditionally eurosceptic farmers are less opposed now to EU membership. Support has risen to 67%.