DOZENS of farmers spent the night sleeping inside their vehicles and on the ground near them in Barcelona as tractor protests over rising costs, taxes, bureaucracy and imports continue across Europe.
The protest continues, with people sitting around a char grill, talking to each other. Parked vehicles, including tractors, can also be seen on the streets.
More than 200 tractors rolled into Barcelona on Thursday where disgruntled farmers had hoped to meet with Catalonian President Pere Aragones to voice their demands.
Tractor protests and blockades of major highways have been seen across Europe in recent months, with thousands of farmers taking part across Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Greece, among other countries.
Central issues include high production costs, tax hikes, fuel costs, EU-wide green regulations and cheap imports from countries like Ukraine – after the bloc lifted tariffs and quotas following the conflict with Russia.
Meanwhile, Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas described the situation as complex and reiterated the government’s openness to engage in a “dialogue” with the protesting farmers.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has promised to simplify rules for the implementation of the the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.
He also expressed his government’s commitment to improving laws aimed at ensuring that farmers do not have to sell their products at a loss.