Farmers protest again and block the border with France

by Lorraine Williamson
farmers block the border

Thousands of protesting Spanish farmers cause traffic jams on the roads and block the border with France. The farmers are demanding more support and controls on imports from the Spanish government and the institutions of the European Union (EU). They warn that they will continue with the demonstrations if the government does not start meeting their demands from Monday.

Spokesman for one of the organising platforms, Revolta Pagesa, Eduard Escolá, told that farmers from all over the country will come to the border for 24 hours. They expect answers from Spain and the EU. “The EU must ensure that our products take precedence over products that come in from outside,” he stressed. The spokesperson for Revolta Pagesa has also warned that if they do not receive answers after Monday’s blockade, they will call for “indefinite cuts”.

Escolá explained that the producers have circulated a manifesto with requests to the Spanish government and the EU institutions. These include a reduction in taxes and support for fuel costs, in the light of the “unacceptable” increase in production costs. They are also asking for more control over imported products.

Traffic problems

Farmers with their tractors, summoned by independent platforms, went to the border points in Navarre, the Basque Country, Aragon and Catalonia. Especially in La Jonquera (Girona) they caused traffic problems. According to the organisers, there are around 450 people in a column in Catalonia. In La Jonquera, two lanes of the AP-7, the main land link between Spain and France, have been cut off at Llers, and the A-2 had accumulated 5.5 kilometers of traffic jams, according to the General Directorate of Transport (DGT) and the Catalan Traffic Service.

In the province of Tarragona, protesters have also disrupted traffic on the N-240 between Valls and Montblanc, in both directions.

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Carrier Response

The National Federation of Transport Associations of Spain (Fenadismer) has called in the security forces and agencies. They are asking to “suppress” farmers who intend to prevent the right to free movement of the more than 20,000 Spanish trucks that cross the Spanish border every day. The transporters are calling for a “crackdown” on protests by farmers blocking the border.

Border blockades

Farmers block the border in Irún-Biriatou (Spanish and French Basque Country) on foot and with tractors. But also in Canfranc and Sallent de Gállego (Aragón), Bossóst, La Seu D’Urgell, Puigcerdà, Coll D’Ares and La Jonquera (Catalonia).

Support from French farmers

Spanish farmers have the support of French agricultural unions on the other side of the border, but professional state-level agricultural organisations such as Asaja, COAG and UPA, nor agri-food cooperatives are expected to participate.

French farmers have also blocked the border on the French side. The prefectures (government delegations) of the border departments have been informed in advance of the closures. They have detailed the situation on their social networks.

Also read: Farmers protests in southern Spain

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