Farmers' protests block roads in Italy as unrest spreads in Europe

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Farmers' protests block roads in Italy as unrest spreads in Europe
A placard on a tractor reads "Italians do it better" during a past protest in Piedmont. (File photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP)

Italian farmers took to the streets and motorways again in several parts of Italy on Monday in protest over high taxes, amid a wave of similar protests in France, Germany, and other European countries.


Protests on Monday partially blocked the A1 motorway exit at Orte, north of Rome, for a second day, as farmers on tractors and other agricultural vehicles gathered at a roundabout.

In Udine, in the northern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, around 70 farmers on tractors "gathered for a protest and then moved off in procession" on Monday morning, reported Italy's Ansa news agency.

Over the weekend, several roads were blocked in Piedmont and a series of smaller protests were reported in Enna, Sicily and Campobasso, Molise, as well as on a Calabrian state road and in a car park in Venice, near the Porto Marghera station.

READ ALSO: EU to begin talks with farming leaders after wave of farmers' protests around Europe

Farmers in the island region of Sardinia had meanwhile organised upcoming protests on Tuesday in Cagliari and on February 12th in Cagliari, Nuoro, Iglesias, Oristano and Aassari.

The demonstrations in Italy came on the back of a wave of protests by farmers around Europe in recent weeks, including huge demonstrations in Germany and roadblocks in France.

French farmers in particular have held an increasingly disruptive series of protests which were only set to intensify this week, with protesters blocking motorways, ports and city ringroads, as well as dumping loads of manure and animal carcasses in town centres and threatening to turn France "upside down".


The protests Europe-wide are connected to the implementation of policies under the EU's 'Green Deal' as well as to varying national laws and local issues affecting each country, with farmers' complaints generally centred on low incomes, high taxes and costs, and increased price pressures.

Italian farmers' association Comitati riuniti agricoli (CRA) on Sunday accused the government of raising taxes for the agricultural sector, including by not renewing an income tax exemption this year.

Italy's Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida wrote on Facebook that there was "no need to convince the government" in Italy "as in other nations” as he claimed it was already “on the side of farmers”.


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