Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Farmers still mobilized in certain countries in Europe

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Hundreds of tractors in a noisy convoy on the road near Orte, an hour from Rome.

Agence France-Presse

The mobilization of European farmers who demand an improvement in their income continued on Saturday in certain countries, with demonstrations in Germany, Switzerland and in Italy, where peasants announce their imminent arrival in Rome.

In Romania and France, on the other hand, the movement has run out of steam , ending road blockages.

In Italy, farmers with nearly 150 tractors demonstrated in Orte, an hour from Rome, and announced their imminent arrival in the Italian capital, noted an AFP videographer.

Marching in convoy near a major highway, the angry farmers demanded improvements in their working conditions and their income.

We will go to Rome, all together, the whole of Italy of farmers, said one of the demonstrators, Felice Antonio Monfeli, without specifying when.

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With this demonstration, we expect the government to give us answers , to us personally, said another demonstrator, Domenico Chiergi.

Italian farmers have been demanding an audience with the government of the ultraconservative prime minister for days Giorgia Meloni, without having received a response yet.

In Germany, several hundred farmers on tractors, opposed to a plan to reduce subsidies for diesel, disrupted access to diesel until early afternoon on Saturday. #x27;Frankfurt airport, the country's largest, the city's police said.

Around midday, the police estimated that 400 tractors were taking part in the demonstration, while the Hesse Farmers' Association counted up to a thousand.

Switzerland experienced its first farmers' demonstration on Saturday, with a procession of around thirty tractors parading through the streets of Geneva to express the revolt and the demands of Swiss peasants.

This is the first peasant gathering in Switzerland following the demonstrations and blockades taking place throughout Europe. In Switzerland, many people say that the situation is different and that we are not subject to (EU) policies, but in reality we are still in the same kind of framework, declared to the #x27;AFP Eline Müller, Uniterre union secretary who organized the rally.

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Swiss farmers, including one with a sign reading “our end will be your hunger” during a protest against wages, taxes and regulations in downtown Geneva.

In Spain, the three main agricultural unions announced on Friday that they were continuing their mobilization following a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture. A series of demonstrations are planned in the coming weeks in the country, notably on February 13 in Barcelona.

These unions denounce growing frustration and unease of agricultural sector in the leading European country exporting fruit and vegetables.

In the Netherlands, farmers carried out several protest actions on highways on Friday evening and briefly blocked one north of Amsterdam, according to the x27;Dutch news agency ANP.

The highway on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands, occupied on the Belgian side earlier in the day by tractors, has been freed and traffic should resume around 6 p.m. according to the Belga agency. p>

Most of the blockages were lifted on Friday in Belgium, including that of the port of Zeebrugge, but several distribution centers of supermarket chains remained blocked on Saturday, according to Belga.

French farmers had voluntarily lifted most of their roadblocks on Friday, the day after announcements made by their government concerning global aid of 400 million euros and the pausing of a reduction plan pesticides.

The police cleared the last two blockades of the Confédération Paysanne, a minority union, on Saturday. However, smaller actions remained organized. On Saturday, for example, farmers dumped manure in front of two hypermarkets in Indre-et-Loire (center), where they checked products to verify origin and labeling.

In Romania, farmers and road hauliers, who were among the first in Europe to express their fed up by blocking roads, began to leave camp on Saturday, following the x27;announcement of an agreement with their government.

In an attempt to extinguish the anger which was gaining ground on the continent, the European Commission on Thursday promised measures to defend the legitimate interests of EU farmers, notably by reducing the administrative burden of the much-maligned Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

European policy too complex, incomes too low, inflation, foreign competition, accumulation of standards, soaring fuel prices: the demands of European farmers are essentially identical in all countries.

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