Clara Alba / SUR
madrid / malaga
Friday, February 9, 2024, 16:55
Tractor protests organized by farmers across Spain this week gained new momentum with major agricultural unions and associations officially launching protests on Thursday. Until then, the massive demonstration that started on Tuesday and caused traffic chaos had been informally organized by farmers through social media.
Faced with protests spiraling out of control, food distribution companies and employers jointly called on protesters not to block their products from entering the market.
“Some companies have already reported delays and accidents at warehouse entrances and exits in regions such as Catalonia, Madrid, Castilla y León and the East, but we do not expect any problems with supply at the point of sale.” said.
Transport Minister Óscar Puente said on Thursday that he did not expect any shortages, although he said “everything can change, so we will be cautious.” The government has reportedly ordered police to swiftly respond to any attempts to block the distribution of goods in the coming days. By mid-week, around 2,500 people had been identified who could be fined by the government for unauthorized demonstrations.
“The government is not listening to us,” warned Tomás Rojas, finance director of the main association representing agricultural cooperatives. He added that the organization had “been seeking a meeting with the Ministry of Ecological Transition for five years” to discuss the industry’s concerns about issues such as price competition from outside the EU, environmental policy and drought.
One of the worst-hit areas this week was Barcelona. By Friday, protests are expected to center around a large distribution center in Zaragoza in the country’s north. Attention is also on Madrid, with truck drivers expected to join farmers’ protests on Saturday and “enter Madrid and paralyze markets”.
The fishing industry will also take part in further action.