From Irún to La Jonquera: agricultural protests reduce the border with France forward of the European elections | Economy | EUROtoday

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At kilometer 0 of the AP-7, on the peak of the Eastern Pyrenees, is El Pertús (Le Perthus), the small municipality that inaugurates the border with France. From a stretch of highway you possibly can see the magnificent gear wheels of the tractors, their yellow tires and the unmistakable blue signal that reads “Spain”, in the midst of a circle of stars that reminds us that we’re within the European Union. On the canvas, Cédric, a French painter, outlines the final particulars of this print, the oil {photograph} of a historic second that for him and the a whole lot of tractors summoned started on Monday at 10:00. “We have come to vindicate the struggle of the countryside in Spain and in Europe, we ask the latter to apply the mirror clauses demanding the same health controls for products from third countries. In Spain we beg for help with the cost of production, the price of hydrocarbons is suffocating us,” underlines Martí Planas, 38 years outdated and a farmer since he was 16, now spokesperson for the Revolta Pagesa platform.

A large number of tractors cut the AP-7 near Le Perthus.  More than 500 protesters have joined French farmers.
Numerous tractors reduce the AP-7 close to Le Perthus. More than 500 protesters have joined French farmers.Gianluca Battista

This Monday, greater than 500 Spanish farmers joined their French counterparts on the border between each nations, forming a “cordon” of columns of tractors from Irun (Guipuzkoa) to La Jonquera (Girona), passing by means of La Seu D'Urgell ( Lleida) and Canfranc (Huesca). Less than per week earlier than the European elections of 9-J, the countryside has taken to the streets to place the agricultural scenario on the heart of neighborhood insurance policies and obtain laws that’s in accordance with their wants. Josep Falgás, a 70-year-old resident of L'Escala (Girona) has spent his whole life devoted to the countryside. The hectares of cereal and fodder have witnessed the ups and downs of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). “The land does not change, but now it is exploited by large corporations. Small farmers like me are becoming fewer and fewer because the situation is unsustainable,” criticizes Falgás. “We are governed by a gang of useless people who do not understand the farmers who, every morning, put on our shoes to go to the fields,” he provides.

Several children play soccer on a section of the AP-7 blocked by farmers.
Several kids play soccer on a bit of the AP-7 blocked by farmers.Gianluca Battista

The scenario is hopeless for veterans and new generations. On AP-7, the youngest farmers say they’re “tired” of speaking: some relaxation in folding chairs underneath the tarps, others are inclined to the hearth the place some dinner is being cooked, and the little ones play a celebration between two tractors. “With the commercial margin we have, the sector is left without relief. Our children see the number of hours their father works each day and what he earns and, logically, they do not want to dedicate themselves to this,” factors out Marta Casas (49 years outdated). Casas and her husband, Pedro Costa (50 years outdated), have come from the Barcelona area of Vallès Oriental, the place they’re devoted to rising cereals and elevating calves: “The situation is suffocating, the prices drown us in production and then they enter much cheaper products from abroad. In the end this will affect the entire population, the final price will skyrocket,” explains Costa.

Catalan and French farmers block the road leading to France, at the La Junquera border crossing in Girona.  They simply ask you to help them with the cost of production.
Catalan and French farmers block the highway resulting in France, on the La Junquera border crossing in Girona. They merely ask you to assist them with the price of manufacturing.Gianluca Battista

Revolta Pagesa, the agrarian platform created through the 6-F protests, has led the day of mobilizations in Catalonia. Although they share their targets, Unió de Pagesos, the bulk Catalan union, doesn’t assist the decision within the electoral marketing campaign, “we do not want to create confusion about the objective of the complaints, nor for the demand to be contaminated by the struggle of other sectors,” he clarifies. Carlos Vicente, spokesperson for Unió de Pagesos. For the union, the 9-J elections are particularly important to advance the intermediate reform of the PAC that they’ve achieved in current months, till reaching a coverage “designed for those who work the land.”

Like Unió de Pagesos, the remainder of the bulk agricultural associations—the Coordinator of Farmers and Ranchers Organizations (COAG), the Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA) and the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA)—have disassociated themselves from the decision for this Monday. “We do not lack reasons to take to the streets, but the most representative organizations maintain unity of action, if one does not go, none goes,” confused Miguel Padilla, basic secretary of COAG. A place that his UPA colleagues reinforce: “The cuts have been organized independently by French and Spanish farmers. They are spontaneous movements, like those of 6-F, which are dedicated to going on their own. We do not organize, but we support any action that defends our rights,” added José Manuel Roche, secretary of worldwide relations at UPA.

The farmers who keep the road closed are preparing to spend the night.  The key demands are the mirror clauses and the price of fuel.
The farmers who preserve the highway closed are making ready to spend the night time. The key calls for are the mirror clauses and the value of gas.Gianluca Battista

Their rights are expressed in rethinking the factors and targets of the discount of phytosanitary merchandise, decreasing the value of gas and placing an finish to the “unfair competition” generated by commerce agreements with third nations the place the well being controls by which they don’t seem to be required are usually not required. Spanish merchandise do go. “Without proposing these changes, Europe will be putting the agricultural sector on the ropes,” laments Vicente, from the Unió de Pagesos, trying defiantly at subsequent Sunday.

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