At the call of the three main agricultural unions (Coag, Upa and Asaja) and some agricultural cooperatives, rural Spain continues its ninth day of strike today to protest against its difficult fate: unfair competition, bureaucracy, difficulty in the supply chain.
With our correspondent in Madrid, Francois Musseau
In Spain, farmers are forcefully maintaining their standoff with political power through the Ministry of Agriculture. Many road access points have been freed, but several strategic arteries in the country are blocked or will be blocked very soon. Unions are preventing entry to the International Agricultural Machinery Fair in Zaragoza, others have announced a closure of the five entry and exit routes from Seville for tomorrow and a total blockade of Pamplona is planned for this Thursday, February 15.
Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, promised to facilitate European aid from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) during a next meeting, at the end of February 2024, in Brussels, in the face of complaints of excessive bureaucracy.
The minister also responded favorably to two major demands from farmers: a law to promote family farming, and strengthening of the supply chain, which would be very problematic for farmers. Farmers say they are vigilant. They will remain on a war footing, they assure, until these promises come true.
“The mobilizations of farmers in Europe will continue as long as we do not have a very clear answer”
For Morgane Ody, head of the European coordination of farmers Via Campesina, the account is not there yet: “Concerning our main demands on income, there has been no response to these demands. There has been no clear response from the European Union either to stop free trade agreements. And so, the mobilizations of farmers in Europe will continue as long as we do not have a very clear answer on the fact that we want a decent income and that we want to stop free trade agreements.»
“We, peasant farmerssays Morgane Ody again, we live from the sale of our agricultural products and therefore, as long as we do not have an answer to the question of prices, fair prices for our products, we will continue to have poverty income. And there are solutions that we see in other countries to obtain prices, guaranteed prices, these are minimum intervention prices, it is the regulation of markets, it is public stocks, it is supply regulation to stabilize markets. And these are tools that have been completely abandoned by the European Union for thirty years because of a neoliberal and free trade dogma. So, it’s true, we will have to change the software of the European Union to move towards much more protection of agricultural markets and much more support for all farmers..”
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