Farmers in Spain persisted with their protests on Friday, as part of on-going demonstrations against European Union agricultural policies and urging for actions to address escalating production costs, diminished profits, and unjust competition from non-EU nations.
These protests echo similar actions witnessed in other EU member states in recent weeks, with farmers complaining about the financial strain imposed by the 27-nation bloc’s environmental and regulatory measures, which render their products more costly compared to imports from non-EU countries.
Although the European Commission has made certain concessions to farmers in recent weeks, such as postponing plans to halve the use of pesticides and other hazardous substances, the protests have continued to escalate. ALSO READ: EU scraps pesticide proposal, as farmers continue to protest.
Farmers are also concerned that the EU’s Green Deal, which calls for limiting the use of chemicals and limiting green gas emissions, will result in a reduction in production and income. They say that the EU’s requirement for 4% of farmland to be devoted to biodiversity and landscape protection will also have a negative effect on their output.
Farmers are also worried about the potential repercussions of the EU’s Green Deal, which advocates for reducing chemical usage and greenhouse gas emissions, fearing it may lead to decreased production and income. They say the EU’s mandate requiring 4% of farmland to be allocated to biodiversity and landscape preservation will have adverse effects on their yields.
On Friday, farmers in Spain staged their fourth straight day of protests.
Besides EU policies, Spanish farmers maintain that a law aimed at guaranteeing that wholesale major supermarket buyers pay fair prices for their goods isn’t being enforced while consumer prices soar.
Friday’s protests centered around the northern cities of Oviedo, Pamplona and Zaragoza, with tractors clogging several city streets and commuter roads. In many places, farmers had kept their protests going overnight.
A group not affiliated with Spain’s three main farming organisations has called for farmers to move on Madrid at midnight for a Saturday protest near the headquarters of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE socialist party.
The demonstrations are expected to continue over the coming weeks with a major protest being organised in the capital for Wednesday 21 February.
Several Spanish media reports have linked many of the protests to right-wing and far-right groups. Police said that 20 people have been arrested during this week’s demonstrations.
Los agricultores se movilizan por cuarto día y cortan autovías en varias comunidades https://t.co/syRrJroqJS— RTVE Noticias (@rtvenoticias) February 9, 2024
🚜⚫️En Toledo, cortada por movilización agraria la autovía A-42, en el entorno de Illescas.— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) February 9, 2024
➡️ Hacia Madrid. pic.twitter.com/EBcLXwyyzL