Farmers block Spanish-French border in major pre-EU elections protest


Dozens of tractors have been blocking all major crossing points between Spain and France from Irun in the Basque Country to La Jonquera in Catalonia since Monday morning. The rally is expected to last until Tuesday.

Farmers’ protests have yet again caused traffic chaos in the continent in a message to lawmakers in Brussels and their potential voters just days before the European elections.

The protest, organised by Spanish Revolta Pagesa, a Catalan farmers’ platform, together with a number of agricultural organisations from all over Spain and several French farmers’ unions, saw dozens of tractors and other vehicles block the border between Spain and France since Monday morning.

They obstructed all main crossing points stretching from Irun in the Basque Country to La Jonquera in Catalonia.

“We must protect ourselves and ensure European authorities pay attention to us,” Martí Planas, spokesperson of Revolta Pagesa, told journalists present at the La Jonquera border crossing on Monday.

The coordinated Spanish-French protest is expected to last for 24 hours and should end early on Tuesday. Authorities have announced major disruptions and encouraged drivers to postpone their trips or use other means of transport.

According to local outlets in Catalonia, the protesters are demanding greater food security in relation to imports, prioritising local production, and a tax break for energy used to produce food.

While this cross-border rally marks the first time Spanish and French farmers got together with the same set of demands, not all agricultural unions agree with Monday’s protest.

Unió de Pagesos, the union representing the majority of Catalan farmers, has refused to join, claiming that putting pressure on voters right before the elections is “illegitimate”.__EuroNews