Spanish police scuffle with farmers, truck drivers on fifth day of protests


MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police clashed with a group of farmers and truck drivers in Madrid on Saturday as they tried to block access to a main road, which is against EU environmental rules. It was one of many protests. Activists see this as excessive taxes and red tape.

A group representing drivers, Plataforma Nacional, and a newly formed farmers’ group, Plataforma 6-F, came together on Saturday to jointly demand action from Spanish and European leaders. They claim that regulations protecting the environment make them less competitive than other sectors.

Members of both groups, waving Spanish flags, wearing yellow vests and shouting ‘Viva España’, gathered in a car park near the Atlético de Madrid stadium and voted in favor of joining forces. Now they will protest together.

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“The government is forcing us to take steps that mean products unfortunately won’t be able to reach consumers on time,” said Manuel Hernandez, head of Plataforma Nacional, which represents truckers. “That’s why we’re calling for accountability from politicians. “Calling to take action and do something.” ,

Since Tuesday, Spanish farmers have joined their counterparts from Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Belgium in daily protests, which have included blocking several highways and ports.

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Immediately after the vote, hundreds of protesters walked around the Madrid stadium and then tried to reach the main highway via a dirt road. Dozens of police officers managed to stop them from doing so by using force.

A group of about 200 protesters later tried to gather outside the headquarters of Spain’s ruling Socialist Party, but a large police presence prevented them from getting too close.

Both groups vowed to continue protests in Madrid and across the country until their demands are met.

(Reporting by Katrina Demoni, Guillermo Martínez; Writing by Katrina Demoni and Jessica Jones; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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