Why farmers across Europe are launching pitched battles over pay using grain sprayers as guns & blasting MANURE at cops

Why farmers across Europe are launching pitched battles over pay using grain sprayers as guns & blasting MANURE at cops

ANGERED farmers across Europe have taken to the streets using grain sprayers as canons and blasting manure at cops in protests over unfair pay.

From Belgium to Greece, farmers have called for action on high costs, low product prices and strict green laws.

APPolice are sprayed by manure during a farmers demonstration in the European Quarter outside a meeting of EU agriculture ministers in Brussels, Monday[/caption]

GettyFarmers stand on their tractors outside the agricultural fair as tensions run high in Paris, France[/caption]

EPAPeople burn tires during a protest of European farmers in Brussels, Belgium[/caption]

EPAPolice cars are covered with hay during a protest of European farmers[/caption]

EPAPolice forces use water cannon during a protest of European farmers[/caption]

For weeks now, frustrated farmers have come out to the streets of major European cities, blocking roads with their tractors in a desperate bid to be heard.

The protests saw angered farmers throw eggs and spray manure at police.

Footage from the protests shows police cars covered in hay, burning tyres, and destroyed imported goods blocking roads.

Farmers have demanded a change in EU regulations when it comes to restrictive green laws and cheap imported goods from countries like Ukraine.


At least 900 tractors have jammed the streets of the Belgian capital, Brussels, on Monday while EU’s agricultural ministers met for talks.

Farmers from Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy have clashed violently with the police, spraying cops with liquid manure and setting tyres on fire.

The protesters hurled eggs and bottles at officers, and set off fireworks while police fired water cannons to press them back.

This is the second protest in Brussels in recent weeks with “ignored” farmers asking for a change in the restrictive European policies.

Marieke Van De Vivere, a Belgian farmer, told the Guardian: “We are getting ignored.

“[Ministers should] be reasonable to us, come with us on a day to work on the field, or with the horses or with the animals, to see that it is not very easy … because of the rules they put on us.”

The farmers also complained about cheaper foreign goods flooding the market, making it impossible to compete.

Under EU regulations, farmers have to abide by strict rules and conditions under which they can grow produce.

Meanwhile, products from non-EU countries are pumped with hormones, antibiotics and pesticides banned in EU.

Emmanuel Mathe, a French farmer, told the Guardian: “We have to deal with all these rules and yet we face competition from goods from outside the EU that simply aren’t produced in the same conditions.”


Bitter Polish farmers have dumped Ukrainian grain from a freight train as part of a protest against cheap food imports.

They have also blocked a motorway at a busy border with Germany, and planned marches on Tuesday.

The anti-Ukrainian sentiment is growing amid Polish farmers as they demand a ban on Ukrainian grain and other goods, including meat, eggs and fruit.

After Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, the EU has lifted quotas and duties on Ukrainian agricultural produce.

This move then prompted furious Polish farmers to begin blocking cross-border roads from the spring of 2023.


The French president, Emmanuel Macron, got caught up in the protests in Paris, France on February, 24.

The French leader was touring an agricultural fair as the angry farmers shouted insults and blew whistles.

As Macron entered the livestock area of the fair, hundreds of protesters crashed through the gates and clashed with the police.

Three people were arrested for creating disturbances but were later released, according to Paris prosecutors.

Macron had met with the leaders of the three main farmers unions and listened to their complaints about bureaucracy, prices and state aid.

“I always prefer dialogue to confrontation,” Macron said.

“I am telling you that work is being done on the ground, we are in the process of simplifying things.”

But the farmers weren’t impressed with his response, with one telling AFP: “Did you hear him? He doesn’t let us speak, he talks down to us. We want him to go.”


Thousands marched through Madrid, Spain on Monday following a demonstration five days earlier that saw 500 tractors drive into the town.

The farmers blew whistles, rang cowbells and beat drums as they demanded EU to slash the red tape.

They criticised the bureaucratic “monster” policies that eat away most of the farmers’ time filling out paperwork.

Roberto Rodriguez, a farmer from Spain, said: “They want us to work on the field during the day and deal with paperwork at night – we’re sick of the bureaucracy.”


The agricultural ministers sat down to discuss the ongoing crisis in the sector in Brussels on Monday.

The ministers addressed the main concerns as the protesters gathered outside.

They discussed simplifying the bloc’s common agricultural policy (CAP), reducing number of farm inspections and easing some green rules for smaller farms.

Germany‘s agriculture minister, Cem Ozdemir, said that the average farmer spends a quarter of their time at their desks because of the EU’s “bureaucracy monster”.

David Clarinval, the Belgian agriculture minister, urged the protesters to refrain from violence and reassured that their complaints have been heard.

Irish agriculture minister, Charlie McConalogue, emphasised that their priority should be to cut the red tape.

The French agriculture minister, Marc Fesneau, added that meeting some of the demands would require a change in the legislation.

He added that it did not matter whether the changes would be implemented before or after the European parliament elections, but there is a need to “move forward”.

“We need something practical, something operational.

“We need to set a goal, lay the foundations of a CAP that reassures people,” he said.

In an attempt to placate farmers, the EU has already backed off on a number of aspects of its flagship green deal plan.

They have installed measures to cut back Ukrainian imports, withdrew a law to reduce pesticide use, and postponed a deadline for farmers to leave some land fallow in order to increase biodiversity.

AFPA sign on a tractor reading ‘Our end will be your hunger, defend your food’ is seen as farmers protest to denounce their conditions in Madrid, on February 26[/caption]

EPAFarmers light flares during a protest in Warsaw, Poland, 27 February 2024[/caption]

RexCatalonian farmers blocked the AP7 near France and destroyed fruits and vegetables[/caption]

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