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Le Perthus – Spanish and French farmers resumed protests this Monday in defense of the European primary sector and blocked eight points at the border between the two countries to demand fair competition, as well as the imposition of tariffs and taxes on imports.

The agricultural organizations calling for the day of protests, integrated into the Union of Independent Primary Sector Associations (Unaspi), have agreed on their demands in a manifesto addressed to the Government of Spain and the European Commission.

The organizers demand that European authorities “guarantee fair and equitable competition in the European market” through tariffs and taxes on imports, as well as imposing carbon footprint criteria.

Additionally, they have asked that products from third countries be subjected to “stricter regulations” in terms of food safety and quality standards, as well as promoting clear labeling of European products and campaigns to promote them.

In this regard, farmers have supported the repeal of non-EU agreements, among which they listed Mercosur and “all those agreements that harm the Spanish agricultural and livestock market” with unfair competition.

The organizers have insisted that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) must be “focused on the farmer” so that funds do not go to multinationals or large landowners, and they have denounced the harm caused by some bureaucratic procedures.

Banning investment funds from hoarding lands, adapting regulations to mountain reality, and modifying animal welfare legislation to protect their ethical treatment without harming the sector’s viability are some of the demands heard at the Border. 

Regarding production, they have proposed eliminating the figure of the farm veterinarian and allowing the use of organic fertilizers “according to the needs of the crops.”

On a national level, farmers have demanded that the Spanish Government promote “comprehensive negotiations” with the sector on all legislation that affects it. Thus, they have emphasized the need to eliminate taxes related to energy consumption, renew agricultural chambers, and improve the policies and financing available to the sector.

They have also referred to some of the historical demands of producers, such as promoting their market access with policies that reduce trade barriers, enhancing generational renewal, boosting innovation, and improving infrastructure.

On the other hand, farmers have demanded the “consensual adaptation” of the National Hydrological Plan to the drought situation, with the drafting of a new document. In this regard, they have called for the renewal of installations, the execution of emergency works, and guaranteeing the irrigation system.

Additionally, they have advocated for a “change in the approach to wildlife management” and for setting carrying capacity limits for protected species populations. (June 3)