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Farmers in Rome: the protest comes to a head

From North to South the number of tractors is multiplying. Some would even like the musical festival stage of Sanremo

The tractor procession coordinated by Riscatto Agricolo started from Valdichiana and headed for Rome. For days, protesters had crowded into the countryside of Foiano della Chiana (Arezzo), with temporary blockades outside the motorway. A procession of around 250 tractors then lined up on Via Cassia, with the aim of reaching Rome before sunset. The procession is escorted by the police and, in particular, by the Digos.

The other protest, established in Orte, near Rome, near the motorway junction, would like to head for Sanremo, with the intention of explaining the reasons for the protest to the musical Festival public. "Agriculture is dying and must be represented. We ask Amadeus [Festival's anchorman, ndr] for help. Thank you if you accept our appeal", a spokesperson for the farmers declared to the Agorà Weekend programme.

For his part, Danilo Calvani, former leader of the pitchfork movement and coordinator of the current protest, confirmed: Rome will be the scene of the protest (the location with the police headquarters is still to be defined) and today's date will only be the first for an all-out demonstration.

Another hot spot is the Lower Po Valley: more than 500 agricultural vehicles arrived in Pavia this morning, after passing through Voghera and Casteggio in recent days. "The event also saw the participation of farmers from Melegnano and the provinces of Brescia and Alessandria", said the organizers. "They are farmers who represent different agricultural sectors, from rice to wine. We contest the agricultural policies of the European Union which put the entire primary sector at risk. We will continue with the protest, which has also spread to France, Germany and other European countries until we are heard."

Meanwhile, in Lucera, in the Foggia area, a free distribution of vegetables and flour is taking place. "An initiative", explain the promoters, "born with the intention of explaining to the population and also to the younger ones - the reasons for the protest which for days has seen us on the streets in permanent garrison to demonstrate the difficulties of a fundamental sector for the economy not only of the province of Foggia but of the whole of Italy". About fifteen tractors stop here as a sign of protest. "We will remain in garrison until we obtain certain and decisive answers from the European Union and the Italian institutions", say the protesters.

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EFA News - European Food Agency