Farmers, younger individuals and fogeys with their kids be a part of the march in direction of Madrid: “I have not slept from the excitement” | Economy | EUROtoday

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The 230 tractors which have spent the night time within the colossal Desguace la Torre, the corporate owned by Luis Miguel Rodríguez, popularly generally known as The Junkman, they don't wish to change into scrap metallic, they wish to lay siege to Madrid. It is likely one of the 5 columns of tractors which have camped at totally different factors on the outskirts of the capital with the goal of reaching the Ministry of Agriculture this morning and that have been deployed alongside the massive highways that result in the capital. The silence of the night time is damaged when the primary farmers begin the engines at 4:30 within the morning this Wednesday to heat up the equipment. José, 70, arrived in probably the most punctual platoon, accompanied by his son David, 29. The latter realized to drive the tractor when he was simply an eight-year-old boy. Yesterday he drove from Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) to the esplanade as a result of, he says, he doesn’t wish to spend the remainder of his life filling out paperwork or watching manufacturing costs rise incessantly.

The tractor camp the place José and David are situated is 30 kilometers south of Madrid, in Torrejón de la Calzada, a small city within the province of Toledo, subsequent to the A-42. It has been the assembly level for farmers from Ciudad Real, Toledo and the encircling areas of Madrid. The march, known as by the Union of Unions, one of many teams not acknowledged by the Government, guarantees to be the most important of all these held in latest weeks all through the nation. The countryside has been protesting for 4 weeks to attempt to enhance its circumstances and has pushed the Government to announce a sequence of measures centered on bettering the state of affairs within the sector and which have pressured the European Union to place the sector's discomfort on the heart of the talk. The group has introduced that about 500 tractors and 100 buses with protesters will arrive within the metropolis heart this Wednesday round midday.

José and his son have dropped temperatures and the chilly is biting. David settles in subsequent to his father in a medium-sized blue tractor. They rub their arms to keep off the chilly, but additionally the nerves. “We haven't slept a wink because of the excitement,” warns the mum or dad, who believes it is going to be the most important demonstration he has attended in his whole life, that’s, “if these gentlemen let us pass,” he says, pointing to the doorway. from the parking zone.

David and José, farmers from Talavera de la Reina.
David and José, farmers from Talavera de la Reina.JUAN BARBOSA

The first patrol vehicles of the National Police start to park in entrance of the Desguace. Not even they know very properly what time the 230 tractors will be capable of depart. Some farm staff face legislation enforcement. “You are here to serve the people, not the politicians” is heard within the first line. Very shut by, engaged in a much less tense dialog, are Pablo Martín, 18, and Francisco de Mora, 17. Martín explains that he has left his research to dedicate himself full time to engaged on his household's farm, the place aside from rising cereals and potatoes, they maintain a number of heads of cattle.

“At 15 years old I was already working 16-hour days,” says this younger man. He proudly feedback that he’s the fourth era in his household to work within the fields and that what he enjoys most is seeing how the animals develop, particularly his goats. Although his greatest complaints are not any totally different from older generations. “This year my CAP funds have been reduced,” he laments with the boldness of somebody who has been within the occupation for many years. For his half, De Mora explains that he combines his Vocational Training (FP) research in Reforestation with work within the subject on weekends. “They gave me a wooden block to reach the clutch,” explains De Mora, when he’s requested about how he realized to drive his tractor.

In the photo, Pablo and Francisco who have arrived from Toledo to join the demonstration.
In the picture, Pablo and Francisco who’ve arrived from Toledo to hitch the demonstration. JUAN BARBOSA

Another group of 10 farmers who’ve pushed greater than 130 kilometers from Ciudad Real have additionally been among the many first to reach on the Desguace. One of them introduces himself as Pedro Díaz. He had by no means pushed his tractor that far. “We are here to demand fair prices in the fields and for the farmer to dedicate himself to work, because today we spend more time moving papers than working in the field,” he shared in reference to the forms that they contemplate extreme and that has been some of the repeated calls for of the protests in Europe.

Victoria Espadas, together with Pilar – who refuses to share her final title – are the one girls who’ve arrived on a tractor to exhibit, they element that “they are still paying for this vehicle with loans from a bank.” “He is my everyday companion. I spend more hours here than at home with my daughters,” confesses Pilar, in entrance of her inexperienced John Deere for which she paid greater than 50,000 euros. She additionally shares that she is a farmer as a result of she likes it, nothing extra. She primarily cultivates olive and almond timber and raises lambs. Although she doesn’t remorse her occupation, she confesses to feeling “sorry” that her era won’t be able to dedicate themselves to the sector. “They are destroying the farmer with the 2030 Agenda. We will eat solar panels.”

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Luis Planas, deployed a battery of measures final Friday with the goal of easing the unrest within the countryside, however the majority of farmers shake their heads, dissatisfied, when the title of the pinnacle of the department is talked about. . “Don't mention that one to us,” says José, who will get off the tractor to see what's cooking on the entrance. The police nonetheless don't know precisely what time they will let the tractors go. The noise on the entrance to the scrap yard is amplified. “There are people who have traveled 300 kilometers with a tractor”, “We are risking the future of Spain”, shouts the group in entrance of the police cordon. Jose, who returns to his tractor, explains: “If my son had studied, now he would dedicate himself to something else and this would have been over,” he says in relation to his work on the farm.

Concentration of farmers in the parking lot of Desguace la Torre, on February 21, 2024.
Concentration of farmers within the Desguace la Torre parking zone, on February 21, 2024. JUAN BARBOSA

Minutes earlier than 06:00 the Civil Guard agent in control of the operation arrives to report that solely 135 tractors will be capable of depart the scrapyard in direction of Madrid and he seems immovable. At the identical time, the drivers convey their tractors out of lethargy and head in direction of the door of the scrapyard, pointing on the foremost door, colossal, coordinated and with their lights on like a swarm able to assault.

Guillermo Sánchez is a particular case inside this group of tractor drivers searching for to achieve Madrid: he’s 38 years outdated, in a occupation the place the typical age exceeds 61 years, in response to the INE agrarian census. “The problem is not the work, which can be hard, but all of us who are here like what we do.” This season he has planted 10 hectares of vineyards from which, he assures, he alone has obtained a thousand euros of revenue. “I am ruined by working,” this farmer complains. “If there are no farmers in the villages, you will not see life in the villages. In a place without agriculture, who wants a hairdresser?”

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