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20 May, 2024
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Farmers erect barricades, confront police at EU summit

Tractors roll, tempers flare in Brussels


Tensions escalated between farmers and police in Brussels as agriculture ministers from the 27 EU countries convened today.

Around 300 tractors lined the city center, blocking off Rue de la Loi, the main thoroughfare, as farmers erected barricades of manure and tires amid chants and music.

Earlier attempts by police to prevent farmers' passage using at least three water cannon vehicles were thwarted as farmers broke through barriers, approaching the building where agriculture ministers were set to meet.

Less than a month after what was termed a "historic" rural mobilization in the Belgian capital on February 1st, with over 1,300 tractors flooding the streets of the European quarter, farmers returned today to voice their frustration over what they perceive as a lack of response from European authorities.

According to Belgian newspaper Le Soir, today's protest includes agricultural unions from Wallonia and Flanders (southern and northern regions of Belgium) as well as farmers from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Luxembourg.

Among the farmers' key demands, which they say have yet to be heard, are fair incomes, reduced administrative burdens, an end to free trade agreements, and an increase in the budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

[With information sourced from Proto Thema and 24 News]

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