HUNDREDS of Valencia farmers took to their tractors on Tuesday morning to travel along main roads around the city to call for a better deal for their sector.
Long delays were reported on some key routes like the northern ring road with the city’s Traffic Management Centre reporting serious problems during the morning rush hour.
Farmers demands include restrictions on importing cheap fruit and vegetables into the European Union, like oranges from Egypt.
The protest was not organised by any of the farming unions but was an unofficial demonstration launched via social media.
From 6.30am, tractors appeared at the Cheste football club car park before moving onto routes in and out of Valencia City including the A-3, A-35, and CV-50.
Demonstrators however were greeted by Guardia Civil patrols who blocked access to the A-3 because permission had not been granted for the protest.
Nevertheless, delays were caused because of the Guardia cutting off lanes to stop the tractors getting onto some of the main highways.
Serious delays occurred on the Valencia northern ring road and pickets were in action at entrances to the port.
Besides restrictions on cheap imports, farmers want tax reductions and a cut in bureaucracy as well as a clear labelling of products to reveal their source.
They are also after the full compliance of the Food Chain Law so that they do not have to sell items at a loss.
Farming unions have called for official protest gatherings in Alicante on February 12, in Castellon port three days later, and at the port of Valencia on February 22.
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