Farmers protest this Thursday morning. / A.J.G.

Five-hundred strong tractor protest takes to the roads of Andalucía

The farmers are angry about high production costs and worried about the drought situation; they say emergency works are not the answer

ANTONIO J. GUERRERO Malaga

Five hundred tractors will be driving around Antequera this Thursday morning, 3 March, in protest at the difficult situation farmers are experiencing at present. They say they still have no support from the administrations, and two years after their last protest they now face an additional problem because of the drought. The convoy will be leaving Los Llanos at 11am and driving through the streets and around the industrial estate to the fairground, where a statement will be read out.

The protest has been organised by the Asaja young farmers association in conjunction with several unions and representatives of farming cooperatives in Malaga province. Baldomero Bellido, the president of Asaja Malaga, says neither the Spanish government nor the EU has done anything to alleviate the problems.

“Farmers are being suffocated by high production costs and measures are needed at the borders to control imports from third countries because if we are not allowed to sell something for, say, 20 cents, why are they able to bring products in and sell them for ten?” he said. “We are always the last to be considered in any policy-making, regulations or plans that are made, and now we have a drought which is very worrying because we don’t know how to deal with it,” he continued. “Emergency works are not the answer: a change of mentality is needed, because water is a State problem”.