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27 Mar, 2024 08:15

WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

Farmers sealed off streets outside the EU headquarters in protest at the bloc’s agriculture policies, according to local media
WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

Belgian farmers sprayed manure at police, threw projectiles, and set hay on fire as hundreds of tractors took to the streets of Brussels on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of EU agriculture ministers.   

Dozens of tractors broke barricades and blocked streets close to the EU headquarters. They are protesting excessive administrative barriers, increased environmental measures, and a flood of duty-free imports from Ukraine.  

“Let us make a living from our profession,” read one billboard on a tractor blocking a main road littered with potatoes, eggs, manure, and straw.  

The demonstration coincided with a meeting of European agriculture ministers, who arrived in Brussels to discuss responses to the crisis in the agricultural sector.  

Farmers sprayed manure at police, who responded by using water cannon and tear gas. One video showed a tractor spraying a brown substance as police blasted it with a water cannon. Other footage showed protesters launching projectiles at officers.   

WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

Tensions reportedly flared as campaigners moved on to the central Rue de la Loi, where tractors unloaded beetroots and wooden pallets in front of a police blockade, bombarding officers with straw, eggs, manure, and fireworks. Two officers were injured in clashes with protesters, the Brussels Times reported.  

WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

Farmers across Europe have been protesting for several months in response to strict EU policies and environmental regulations, including cuts in subsidies. They argue that Brussels’ plans will potentially put them out of business.   

WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

Demonstrators are calling for changes to restrictions imposed by the bloc’s so-called Green Deal, and for a halt to cheap agricultural imports from outside the bloc, primarily Ukraine, which have flooded EU markets.  

WATCH tractor spray manure at police in Brussels (VIDEO)

With protests taking place from Finland to Greece, Poland, and Ireland, farmers have already won some concessions, including a loosening of controls on farms and a weakening of pesticide and environmental rules, according to the AP.  

Earlier this month, EU lawmakers agreed to suspend import duties and quotas on Ukrainian agricultural food imports to the bloc until June 2025.

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