Spanish farmers block highways to protest European Union regulations

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Highways in Spain are blocked by tractors and other farm equipment as protests spread from neighboring countries. 

Members of the Asaja Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores (the Spanish Young Farmers’ Association) took to the highways en masse Tuesday to protest European Union bureaucracy and hampered competition against non-EU countries.

“With different shades, in the whole of the European Union, we have the same problems,” ASAJA Vice President Donaciano Dujo told Spanish news outlet TVE. 

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SPAIN FARM PROTEST

Farmers and ranchers drive tractors on a road as they protest price pressures, taxes and green regulation, grievances shared by farmers across Europe, in Ronda, Spain. (Reuters/Jon Nazca)

“The countryside is fed up,” Dujo added.

The protests have obstructed traffic on major highways all the way from Seville to Girona.

Protest leaders have voiced opposition to EU regulations intended to curb environmental impact, which farmers say prevents them from staying competitive with other agricultural markets.

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Girona Spain Farmer Protest

Farmers drive farm equipment vehicles as part of a nationwide protest against the EU and its climate-focused regulations in Girona, Spain. (Reuters/Albert Gea)

Violent confrontations between farmers and law enforcement officers have been reported in other countries, according to Reuters.

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Similar protests have popped up in other European countries, including France, Belgium, Portugal, and Italy.

Italian farmers began a tractor convoy bound for Rome on Monday, complaining of similar hardships caused by EU bureaucracy.

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Girona Spain Farmer Protest

Tractors are driven through Girona, Spain, as farmers organize to protest regulations and a lack of aid amid widespread economic struggles in the country’s agricultural sector. (Reuters/Albert Gea/File Photo)

“Of course, there is always room for improvement, and I am always willing to listen to the demands coming from workers who are essential to us,” Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Monday of the protests during a visit to Japan.

Italian farmers have also demanded the readoption of 2017 income tax breaks dropped from the national budget this year.

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