Traffic chaos in Madrid as farmers vow to continue with protests

Traffic chaos in Madrid as farmers vow to continue with protests |

Over 500 tractors from several regions descended on the Spanish capital, where they vowed to continue their struggle until Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his left-wing coalition implement concrete measures to secure the sector’s viability.

ASAJA President Pedro Barato assured that farmers’ associations nationwide will continue their demonstrations until the government changes its policies for the beleaguered sector, Euractiv’s partner EFE reported.

“We have to mobilise to tell the public authorities what they have done wrong, which they could have done well”, he said, referring to issues such as the relaxation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) or the import of products from third countries that do not meet all EU standards.

COAG Secretary General Miguel Padilla vowed that the “fight will go on”.

“We are going to continue fighting until the objectives are achieved because we are in a very difficult situation, and the organisations demonstrate when we have exhausted the negotiation route and we have to demonstrate that there is a problem”, he told EFE.

The nationwide protests, which began on 6 February and have seen convoys and roadblocks set up across the country, are calling for changes to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy and for local and national governments to take action to ensure fair incomes amid rising production costs.

Similar protests have taken place in countries across Europe in recent weeks.

A massive ‘tractorada’

Since the farmers began their protests, there have been dozens of marches and rallies in logistics and distribution centres to demand measures to protect the sector.

Protesters are also critical of agricultural imports from third countries that do not meet EU production requirements.

Wednesday’s so-called “tractorada” was announced two days earlier after the agricultural unions rejected a list of proposals from the Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas (PSOE/S&D), dismissing them as a “deception” and said that “none of these measures will fix any of the problems” Spanish farmers face.

Many tractor drivers spent the night on the outskirts of the city, waiting to take part in a march through the streets of the capital to the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, located opposite Atocha, one of the country’s busiest high-speed train stations (AVE).

But only a small fraction of the 500 tractors that made the journey had access to the city centre to demonstrate outside the ministry building.

In addition to the protest in the capital, there have been calls in different parts of the country for Wednesday, the sixteenth day of demonstrations.

(Fernando Heller |

Read more with Euractiv

Traffic chaos in Madrid as farmers vow to continue with protests |

Visegrad, Baltic farmers rally against EU policies, backed by national governmentsFarmers from eastern European and Baltic countries – namely the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria – joined forces on Thursday to protest against EU policies, with many of their governments either supporting the farmers or at least expressing their understanding.

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