Tractors block roads in Spanish city as farmers protest against EU policy


MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish farmers stepped up their protests against rising costs, bureaucracy and cheaper competition from outside the European Union by driving tractors through city streets on Thursday, disrupting traffic.

The protests, which began spontaneously on Tuesday after spreading to other EU countries, are supported by the country’s three major farmer unions.

Dozens of tractors surrounded the regional parliament in Barcelona after their drivers spent the night in the city centre.

Farmers disrupted traffic in small cities across the country, including central Avila, Vitoria in the north and Antequera in the south.

Spain’s farmers have joined their colleagues in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium, where protests have sometimes turned violent.

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Farmers across the EU claim that rules protecting the environment make them less competitive than farmers in other regions. They also say they are frustrated with taxes and red tape.

Large imports from Ukraine, for which the EU has waived quotas and duties following Russia’s invasion, and renewed negotiations to conclude a trade agreement between the EU and the South American bloc Mercosur have created unfair competition. Has promoted dissatisfaction about.

Spain’s interior ministry said police detained 12 people during Wednesday’s protests, which also included the blockade of several large goods distribution centers. The government and retail associations do not expect imminent food shortages.

FENADISMER The transport federation said more than 80,000 trucks were being affected by the blockade.

Since Tuesday, Spanish farmers have blocked highways and ports in Málaga and Castellón and boulevards in Barcelona and elsewhere.

The protests prompted the government to distribute an additional 269 million euros ($290 million) in subsidies to 140,000 farmers and the European Commission, the EU’s executive, to cancel a plan to halve pesticide use in the bloc.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Nick McPhee)

Copyright 2024 Thomson Reuters,


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