Thursday

28th Jul 2016

Second day of milk protests in EU capital

  • Tractors blocked Rue Belliard on Tuesday morning (Photo: EMB)

EU officials trying to get to work on Tuesday (27 November) faced a second day of problems as hundreds of tractors blocked main roads to the institutions.

The protest - organised by the European Milk Board (EMB), a German-based trade association - shut down three out of four lanes on the Rue de la Loi leading to the European Commission and EU Council buildings and closed Rue Belliard beside the European Parliament.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The EMB said 2,500 farmers from 14 EU countries have brought between 800 and 1,000 tractors to Brussels in protest at falling milk prices and EU plans to phase out subsidies by 2015.

It noted that in Belgium it costs €0.40 to make a litre of milk compared to a wholesale price of €0.26.

Some of the largest contingents came from Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

"Tuesday's big protest, in front of the EU institutions, will by symbolic and more calm than spraying milk on their facades. They must understand that in recent years, 150,00 producers have closed their doors, 3,000 of them in Belgium," Erwin Schopges, the head of EMB's Belgian branch told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

"It's very simple: you can't live off milk any more. If I go on, it's thanks to European aid ... If they do it [phase out subsidies] there will be no more small and medium producers here in five years," French farmer Leopold Gruget told AFP.

On Monday, the protesters unloaded 15,000 litres of milk on parliament buildings beside the Place du Luxembourg.

They also camped out in the square overnight, setting fire to a pile of tyres and hay and drinking beer as police looked on.

The farmers are to begin leaving the EU capital at 1pm local time on Tuesday.

The EU currently spends around 40 percent of its €130-billion-a-year budget on agricultural subsidies.

But northern countries want to cut farm spending in the 2014 to 2020 budget period in favour of more spending on research and industry.

EU to tweak rules on Chinese 'dumping'

The EU Commission has tried to fudge the issue of whether China is a “market economy” amid efforts to protect European industry from cheap exports.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue Platform
  2. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  3. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  4. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  5. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  6. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  7. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  8. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  10. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  11. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  12. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company