Tractors towards Rome, police avoid blockade in Orte

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Tractors towards Rome, police avoid blockade in Orte

The farmers' protest is on the outskirts of Rome, while a thousand tractors besieged Frankfurt airport this morning, the economic heart of the EU. Over one hundred agricultural vehicles invaded the square in front of the Orte motorway toll booth, in the province of Viterbo, with moments of tension with the police when some demonstrators placed huge bales of hay in the middle of the road, attempting to block traffic again: a foiled attempt by a massive cordon of police forces. In the same hours, other groups pushed their vehicles as far as Formello, north of the capital, and Valmontone.

The protest therefore does not stop, on the contrary. Next week the same capital will be the scene of a farmers' demonstration, as the movement's leader Danilo Calvani promised: “We have just left the police station, the demonstration will take place. Monday evening after another meeting with the police headquarters, we will communicate the date. In Italy we won't do what we did in Brussels, we've never done it. This allowed us to get to Rome – he explained – There will be no blockages, but certainly inconveniences: we expect thousands of participants from all over Italy”. “Green policies are devastating for the sector – he continued -. Not so much as an internal concept but as policies that prevent us from producing but do not stop the free market that brings goods to Europe. Coldiretti no longer represents us, this ruling class it should be eliminated. Lollobrigida had Coldiretti governed, she makes the declarations that they make. However, the agricultural world has rebelled”.

In addition to Orte, where for 15 days the square in front of the motorway entrance has become a sort of headquarters for the mobilization, the protest, which for different reasons has already inflamed many European countries, today touched half of Italy: 200 tractors they marched in Sannio (encountering, according to witnesses, also the solidarity of many motorists, despite the inconveniences) and more or less numerous demonstrations were recorded in Orvieto, between Melegnano and Milan and in Abruzzo, in the Sangro area, in the Caserta area – with a presence at the Santa Maria Capua Vetere motorway toll booth – and in San Severino Marche.

But if the grip of the tractors ended in Belgium, after the harsh siege in Brussels, today the number one target in Europe was Frankfurt airport, where several hundred farmers protested with their tractors. At midday the police spoke of around 400 vehicles while the Hesse farmers' association estimated 1000. Even though there were major traffic disruptions, the entrances to the terminals were never blocked, the police said, and the protest – mainly focused on fuel taxation – was peaceful. Meanwhile, the revolt of European farmers also finds followers in Switzerland: around thirty farmers at the wheel of their tractors converged on the Plainpalais plain in Geneva from the countryside around the city, while 30-40 agricultural vehicles concentrated in the canton of Basel.

The objective of both mobilizations: to demand fair pay for the work of those who cultivate the land and raise animals. Farmers particularly criticize the margins of large-scale retail trade, a topic at the center of heated debates in Switzerland. In France the mobilization of tractors calmed down after the announcements of Prime Minister Attal and President Macron on the new measures to support agriculture, even if the movement spoke of simple suspension. But in Belgium, even after the end of the at times violent demonstrations, tractors targeted the logistics of large-scale retail trade, obstructing the unloading and loading of goods and bringing supplies and stocks to their knees. A mobilization – writes Le Soir – which leaves shop shelves increasingly empty and opens a clash with supermarkets, ready to ask for the police and bailiffs to be sent to chase away the tractors. The protest, meanwhile, has also landed in Malta where farmers demonstrated in Valletta on Friday, with a delegation that was received by Prime Minister Robert Abela.

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