Farmers' anger: where are the mobilizations in Europe?

The mobilization of European farmers demanding an improvement in their income continued on Saturday February 3, but in an uneven manner

Farmers' anger: where are the mobilizations in Europe?

The mobilization of European farmers demanding an improvement in their income continued on Saturday February 3, but in an uneven manner. Demonstrations were held in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, where peasants announced their imminent arrival in Rome.

In Romania and France, on the other hand, the movement ran out of steam and farmers stopped their protest movement.

In Italy, farmers with some 150 tractors demonstrated in Orte, an hour from Rome, and announced their imminent arrival in the Italian capital, noted a videographer from Agence France-Presse (AFP). Marching in convoy near a major highway, angry farmers demanded improvements in their working conditions and their income.

“We will go to Rome, all together, all of Italy,” said one of the demonstrators, Felice Antonio Monfeli, without specifying the date. “With this protest we expect the government to give us answers, personally,” said another protester, Domenico Chiergi.

Italian farmers have been demanding an audience with the government of ultraconservative Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni for days, without having received a response so far.

In Germany, several hundred farmers on tractors, opposed to a plan to reduce subsidies for diesel, disrupted access to Frankfurt airport, the most important airport, on Saturday until the beginning of the afternoon. of the country, city police said. Around midday, 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 farmers.

“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,” said Eline Müller, union secretary. from Uniterre, which organized the gathering.

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 protests are planned in the coming weeks across the country, including February 13 in Barcelona.

Farmers' unions denounce "growing frustration and unease" in the agricultural sector in Spain, Europe's leading fruit and vegetable exporting country.

In Romania, farmers and road hauliers, who were among the first in Europe to cry out that they were "fed up" by blocking major roads, began to leave camp on Saturday, following the announcement of an agreement with the government. The demonstrators are “satisfied” to have obtained a place at the negotiating table, one of their representatives, Danut Andrus, told AFP.

French farmers, who had given the starting signal for this vast protest movement, lifted most of their roadblocks on Friday, the day after announcements made by the French government concerning global aid of 400 million euros and the “pausing” a pesticide reduction plan.

But smaller actions continue. On Saturday, for example, a supermarket was blocked in Var (South), while farmers dumped manure in front of two hypermarkets in Indre-et-Loire (Center), where they “checked” products to verify origin and labeling.

In an attempt to respond to the anger that was gaining ground on the continent, the European Commission on Thursday promised measures to defend the "legitimate interests" of farmers in the European Union, in particular by reducing the "administrative burden" of the criticized policy agricultural common (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.