Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2024
World | 3,959 views

Farmers protests: ‘Nightmare’ traffic chaos strikes EU as bloc fails to control | World | News

From the bustling streets of Berlin to the nighttime demonstrations adorned with vivid national flags in Romania, a wave of farmer protests is sweeping across Europe, revealing deep-seated discontent within the agricultural sector.

Although France has become the epicentre of these demonstrations, with farmers strategically blocking highways around Paris with their tractors, the movement has rapidly transcended borders, resonating with farmers in Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands and Greece.

The protests, sparked by worries about low wages, regulatory burdens, and the influx of inexpensive imports, have united farmers in a chorus of demands for immediate action.

Tractors have become symbols of dissent, rolling through streets in Poland and bridges in Germany, while Italian farmers have illuminated the night with fires near stone statues, visually expressing their frustration.

The crescendo of the protests reached the European Union’s headquarters, where convoys of impassioned farmers, steering heavy-duty tractors, converged to demand the attention of EU leaders. This strategic move aimed to bring the farmers’ grievances directly to the heart of EU policymaking, calling for substantial and rapid changes.

Meanwhile, in France, the protests led to traffic barricades on highways around Paris, met with an increased police presence as Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced measures to address the unrest. Disruptions ensued, with frustrated commuters and travellers expressing their discontent.

Rob Ferguson, sales director at Aford Awards, shared his perspective on the situation as he travelled for business on the E40 motorway between the Netherlands and Belgium.

He told “It’s very frustrating to be honest. It just all seems to be a bit of a nightmare. I do get why the farmers are doing what they’re doing because they’re definitely causing an upset.

“If you get stuck behind the tractors, you literally cannot go anywhere until the police move them, which takes hours. Yesterday I saw over 200 tractors on the motorway with about 50 trailers full of wood, which they were burning on the road to stop people getting in their way.”

In response to the protests, the Lega group of Italian MEPs issued a statement to, emphasising their support for farmers across the bloc.

They wrote: “The farmers’ protests that have been going on for weeks across Europe and have reached Brussels in recent days, with mass demonstrations in front of the EU institutions, cannot and must not be ignored.

“What we see in the streets is the exasperation of businesses, workers and families who are paying the price of an extremist and wicked transition conceived by Timmermans and carried out by Von der Leyen.

“Their cry fore help must be heard: this Europe does not work, it must be changed radically.”

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