BRUSSELS – 800 tractors hurdled through the streets of Brussels in protest against the ‘European Union’ for causing an ‘unsustainable state’ for farmers in Belgium.
NDJ World | Published: Nov 26 2012 Europe→World News
Armed with milk, 5,000 gallons, Belgian farmers blasted the building where the EU was gathering at the moment. Police quickly intervened to stop the ‘milk shooting’, only to be white coated themselves.
Police responded firing teargas and hit several farmers with their stick but the relentless farmers kept blasting their milk weapons at police.
Several traffic jams occurred throughout Brussels as major arteries were blocked by tractors during peak traffic hours.
The army or tractors was made up by Belgian, French, Irish, Dutch, Spanish, Polish and Danish farmers, demanding a much fairer milk price in Europe.
Erwin Schöpges, chairman of the Belgian Farmer Division, said that it is time the European Union defends the farmer and the consumer and no longer the industrial giants.
“That’s why we are gathered here today,” said Schöpges. “To demand equality.”
Milk cattle farmers said they can’t diversify because they are not allowed to build on their land. “That forces us to raise cattle,” said farmer Ghislain.
Since 2004 the European Union had decided to have a liberalization of the farm industry and to cancel the now in place ‘milk quota’ by 2015, allowing farmers to make their own price.
That change will drive small farmers out of business since they won’t be able to compete with industrial factory farms.
Furthermore, the implication of the removal of the milk quota provides that farmers must adhere to using more expensive milking equipment but aren’t guaranteed a fair profit.
The Farmers Union claims that already milk farmers are being squeezed by having to accept 33 cents per liter of milk, which is barely enough to cover the rising cost of cattle feed.
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