Portuguese farmers are protesting and have been blocking several highways across the country. Similarly to what is happening in other European countries, Portuguese farmers are protesting a lack of conditions.
On Thursday, a considerable number of farmers started blocking important highways from north to south, including frontier points with Spain. There are hundreds of individuals and tractors spread throughout the country, in strategic locations, hoping they will be heard by the Portuguese Government.
The Portuguese National Republican Guard (military police force) is supervising the protest and ensuring that a complete blockage is not possible. The authority appeals to the farmers’ humanity, requesting that they do not hinder citizens’ right to mobility. The farmers adhered to such an appeal, stating that they are good people, and did not completely block the roads. Their objective is to be heard, not to harm others.
According to Daniel Pacífico, one of the masterminds of the protest, there are many complaints and claims. The most important relate to water, and prices connected to production and distribution.
From the farmers’ perspective, the sector has been belittled by the Government for years. There are hundreds of acres of fertile land waiting to be farmed, which cannot be used because of governmental action.
The group of farmers stated that they will march until they get the attention they deserve, and that, if needed, they would go as far as Lisbon.
In fact, they’re not far from the capital. One of the groups marched slowly within the highways that connect the south to Lisbon, conditioning access to one of the two bridges that provides such access.
The Portuguese Government had already approved an aid package for the sector, and after its absolute confirmation, the farmers slightly slowed down the protest. However, it may not be enough. The Portuguese Government can only go so far, as many of the measures are dependent on approval from the European Union.