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World News February 27, 2024

Farmers protest across Europe, press ministers to act

Farmers across Europe, particularly in Poland, Germany, Belgium, and Spain, staged protests on Monday, blocking border crossings, clashing with police, and gathering in major cities. The demonstrations aimed to address concerns about low supermarket prices and unfair competition, particularly from countries like Ukraine. European Union (EU) agricultural ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss the crisis amidst weeks of protests.

Farmers argue that the EU has not heeded their demands for fair revenue and attribute their struggles to free trade agreements, deregulation, and prices falling below production costs. The EU has already weakened some environmental policies, including abandoning emission reduction goals for farming in its 2040 climate roadmap.

Protesters in Brussels clashed with riot police, and tractors jammed parts of the city. In Madrid, Spanish farmers called for reduced bureaucracy in the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Polish farmers blocked a highway at the Germany-Poland border in solidarity against goods from Ukraine entering the EU market, following a 2022 EU decision to waive duties on Ukrainian food exports amid the conflict with Russia.

Leaders in Poland, including Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Andrzej Duda, emphasized that the issue should be addressed at the EU level. The farmers’ grievances encompass broader EU agricultural challenges and the impact of decisions, such as duty waivers on Ukrainian exports.

Source – CGTN

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