16 Feb, 2024 @ 12:34
1 min read

Farmer strikes latest: Protests to continue across Spain after meeting between trade unions and government

FARMER strikes across Spain are set to continue despite a meeting between the government and agricultural trade unions.

Representatives from Asaja, COAG, and UPA met with the Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Food, Luis Planas, on Thursday morning following ten days of protests throughout Spain.

Frustrated farmers have been blocking roads in protest against EU regulations, which they claim allows them to be undercut by foreign growers who can offer their produce for less.

Despite discussions with the government, up to 16 formal demonstrations planned by the trade unions will take place in the coming weeks.

These will take place in conjunction with unofficial protests organised on social media.

The government has committed to a number of measures in order to appease the angry agriculturalists, including maintaining a subsidy on farmers using diesel, re-shaping food chain laws, and asking EU bosses in Brussels to simplify the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides subsidies for producers. 

Farmers have been protesting over unfair competition and EU red tape. Credit: Cordon Press

The president of Asaja, Pedro Barato, stated that whilst there had been progress in some areas, such as the use of a digital notebook, more needed to be done to help farmers.

The general secretary of COAG, Miguel Padilla, praised the meeting as a step forward towards a “new path”.

He also explained that potential trade agreements are an issue “of the greatest concern”.

Protesters want the EU to pause the negotiation of trade deals with New Zealand, Chile, Kenya, Mexico, India, Australia and Mercosur, the South American trading bloc, arguing that imports from these countries represent unfair competition.

Deputy general secretary of UPA, Montserrat Cortiñas, lobbied for “more funds and more personnel” so that new proposals and law changes could be implemented effectively.

Protests will continue after the weekend, with drivers advised to check traffic reports before making journeys in their cars.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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