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Thousands of farmers protested in Madrid – “The farming world is dying”

The farming world is dyingj»: the protest movement of Spanish farmers arrived today at its center Madrid where huge convoys of tractors with their drivers demonstrated against the uncertainty in the sector as in many European countries, among them Greece.

Thousands of farmers from all over Spain took to the streets of Madrid in a concert by horns, cowbells and drums, responding to the call of the Union of Trade Unions (Union de Uniones) but also of groups of farmers mobilized on social media.

Among them, as reported by APE-MPE, 500 managed to reach the city center on tractor according to the prefecture. Arranged in five phalanxes of about a hundred vehicles each, they arrived at the Ministry of Agriculture behind banners that read: “the rural world is dying” or “without the countryside, the city does not eat”.

The culmination of a movement of anger that began three weeks ago, in the wake of protests organized mainly in France and Germany, this demonstration led to many traffic jams and caused some tensions with the forces of order.

“What we want is to be heard”

What we want is to be heardwell, it's for the authorities to understand that we can't continue like this,” Jose Ignatio Rojo, 58, who came from Burgos (north) to demonstrate against the prices “that do not allow us to live” and a “bureaucracy” which he characterizes as excessive.

“I I work 14 hours a day. And when I finish my day in the field, there are always papers waiting for me,” he says, who owns a 3,300-acre farm with his daughter where he grows grain and raises animals.

The baton is taken by Bernardino Hernandez, who came to demonstrate with a banner that reads: “bureaucracy is destroying my farm”. “All about management. I would need a full-time person, it's impossible,” says the 70-year-old farmer.

Owner of an area of ​​400 hectares near Cuenca (center), this vintner previously employed three employees. “Today I only have one, because of the drop in the price of grapes,” he explains: “I'm working, but I'm losing money.”

Peasant protests in Spain

Asked on public television, the national coordinator of the Union de Uniones, Luis Cortes, called on the Spanish government to make more efforts to “simplification” of administrative procedures and to protect farmers, many of whom are forced to “sell at a loss”.

Better “import control” is needed, the union leader said, blaming unfair competition from products imported from non-European countries. They should be “subject to the same restrictions” on the environment “as those imposed on Spanish farmers”, he insisted.

In addition to the demonstration in Madrid, several rallies took place today in Spain, mainly in Murcia (southeast), Palencia (north) and Malaga (south), following a call this time by three professional organizations representing the sector: Asaja, of COAG and UPA.

Peasant protests in Spain

“Mirror measures”

In a statement, Mr Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas assured that he is “fully involved” in order to “bring answers to the farmers' concerns”, recalling that he announced last week a package of support measures in the sector after a meeting with the unions.

The minister also pledged again on Monday in Brussels to implement “mirror measures” of a mechanism that provides that imported products must comply with the same rules required for European farmers.

Source: News Beast

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