Although the protest may have started in France, Spanish farmers faced similar problems and had the added blow of seeing some of their produce destroyed.
Even though their leading association, ASAJA, wasn’t calling for open action until Thursday, February 8, demonstrations started across the Iberian Peninsula on February 6, with long convoys of tractors blocking many roads.
Although the Spanish Government announced on the same day that it planned to make a further €269 million available to support farmers who are having to cope with the ongoing drought and high fuel prices due to the invasion of Ukraine, many feel it is too little too late.
Fuel subsidies were a help in the past. Still, the farmers have more to complain about as they argue that excessively tough EU rules in the Common Agricultural Policy make it almost impossible to compete with cheap uncontrolled imports from ‘third world’ and non-EU countries.
Although many supermarkets boast that they offer locally grown produce, many are happy to import large volumes of foreign fruit and vegetables. There have been some reports of tyres being set fire to, and there is fear that demonstrators could become involved in face-offs with the National Police and Guardia Civil. However, at the moment, their main source of action is to block essential roads throughout the country effectively.