Striking farmers choke Brussels roads outside EP ahead of major summit

Farmers line up their tractors in a blockade at the European Parliament, protesting for improved market conditions ahead of a major European summit

More than 1,000 tractors surround and block access to the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: X / Shiv Aroor)
More than 1,000 tractors surround and block access to the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: X / Shiv Aroor)

Farmers have blocked off most roads surrounding the European Parliament in Brussels in protest, seeking better market conditions.

Videos sent to this newsroom show tractors next to the EU Parliament entrance, with protestors shouting in front of two fires, further obstructing the entrance for pedestrians.

On the day of a major European Union Summit, the farmers are advocating for better prices for their produce and less bureaucracy in their work.

Throughout the week, protests have erupted in more than five European countries, including major cities in France, Italy, Belgium, and Germany.

On Wednesday, the French government witnessed escalated tension as it deployed armored vehicles to protect a wholesale food market in Paris.

The farmers' demands in each country vary. In France, farmers claim they are not being adequately compensated and are burdened by excessive regulations on environmental protection.

In other countries, such as Poland, Romania, and Lithuania, farmers argue that the push for the government and retailers to lower food inflation is leaving them unable to cover their own costs for energy, fertilizer, and transport due to a lack of profits.

Meanwhile, farmers in countries like Germany are protesting against government cuts in diesel subsidies and a sudden increase in energy and input prices.

Malta has yet to see how its farmers react to the new EU directives, but interviews with farmers in the past have already shown Maltese farmers struggling with their own unique challenges.

Squeezed by the lack of land, the challenge of water as a resource, battered by extreme weather, and undercut by cheap foreign imports, farmers have told MaltaToday in the past few months that they are already knee-deep in debt.