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One of the two tractor columns entering Malaga. Ñito Salas
Farmers' protests

Farmers take to the streets in a bid for survival

Hundreds of tractors headed for the Paseo del Parque where they demanded changes in the national farming policy

Matías Stuber

Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 10:56

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Under normal circumstances, Benito Avilés would have been spreading fertiliser on his family farm in Campillos. Instead, on Wednesday morning the farmer was on his tractor on his way to Malaga city centre. His destination was the Paseo del Parque, where the main agricultural associations (Asaja, COAG, UPA and Cooperativas Agro-Alimentarias) had called a protest rally in front of the city hall. The aim remained the same as that of protests in recent weeks: to draw attention to the current agricultural policies of the European Union and demand drastic changes to "avoid the death of the primary sector". This new day of protest blocked traffic in the city since early in the morning.

Some 200 tractors arrived in the city at 10am. The first tractor carried a large banner which proclaimed, ‘The countryside is dying’ (El campo muere). Two separate tractor columns were escorted by local and national police officers. The protesting farmers had gathered at 7am in different cooperatives in Antequera and the Guadalhorce Valley. From there, tractors drove towards the capital via the A-45 and the A-357. At the same time, numerous chartered buses also set off for Malaga.

Salvador Salas
Ñito Salas

Tractors from the Guadalhorce Valley entered the city via Avenida Blas Infante and continued towards Plaza Manuel Azaña. Those coming from the towns and villages of Antequera did so via Avenida Jacinto Benavente. The two columns met at Avenida de Andalucía and headed towards Paseo del Parque.

This new day of protests coincided with the morning rush hour, causing numerous traffic jams. The roads remain congested in parts of the city. Malaga council closed access to Paseo del Parque completely and has diverted traffic coming from the east through Paseo de los Curas.

The farmers’ protest has been approved by the central government office and is planned until 2pm. The tractors will then begin their return journey using the same route. Traffic complications are likely until the early afternoon, if not later.

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