Farmers block roads in demand for more aid
30 November 2005, MADRID – Farmers blockaded roads throughout Spain on Wednesday to demand the government increases aid in the face of high petrol prices.
30 November 2005
MADRID – Farmers blockaded roads throughout Spain on Wednesday to demand the government increases aid in the face of high petrol prices.
Last month, the country's ports ground to a halt as striking fishermen called for higher fuel subsidies. They eventually reached a deal with the government.
On Wednesday, members of the agricultural unions Asaja, COAG and UPA blocked roads with tractors in Andalucia, Murcia, Castilla y Leon, Extremadura, the Basque Country, Navarra and Castilla-La Mancha.
A total of 33 tractors also set off from Arganda del Rey in the morning, arriving in Madrid at 1pm where they protested in the Plaza Conde de Casal.
Agricultural Minister Elena Espinosa warned that blockades would not pressurise the government into offering more aid.
"The ball is in their court," she said. "The sector is very free to demonstrate, but methods of pressure won't make the government change its offer."
The government is offering to increase VAT compensation in agriculture by one percent to nine percent and by 0.5 percent in cattle breeding to 7.5 percent.
That offer would represent aid of EUR 125 million.
Farmers, though, say the sum is too little. They claim they have lost EUR 4 billion this year alone because of the rising cost of fuel and Spain's worst drought since 1947, which has decimated crops.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news