Farmers from Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands protest against milk quotas.
Dairy farmers protesting against EU milk quotas shut down several streets in
Brussels' EU Quarter yesterday (27 November) and are continuing protests today.
The dairy farmers brought 500 tractors from Belgium, France, Germany and the
Netherlands into the EU area yesterday, parking them on the main traffic
arteries of Rue de la Loi and Rue Belliard and leaving them there overnight.
Yesterday the dairy farmers sprayed thousands of litres of fresh milk at riot
police in front of the European Parliament at Place du Luxembourg.
They also sprayed the Parliament building itself, managing to disrupt a
meeting of shadow rapporteurs from the agriculture committee who were
discussing proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). They then
set fire to barrels of hay in Place du Luxembourg, leaving a fire and plumes of
smoke late into the evening. They plan to remain camped outside the Parliament
until this afternoon.
The protest is being co-ordinated by the European Milk Board. They say the
current quotas on milk production are reducing the price of milk to
unsustainable levels that are far less than the cost of production. The quota,
currently set 130 million tonnes, is due to be phased out by 2015. But the
farmers say this is not soon enough.
The price of milk in Belgium is currently €0.26 per litre, less than the
production cost of €0.40 per litre. The milk board has organised similar
protests in the past, the last occurring in 2009.
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