Farmers in Brussels throw beets, spray manure at police and set hay alight to protest EU policies

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Farmers threw beets, police sprayed manure and set fire to grass on Tuesday as hundreds of tractors blocked roads near the European Union capital, as agriculture ministers sought to end the crisis. months of protests across the 27-member bloc.

The farmers protested what they see as red flags are unfair trade practices and increased environmental and cheap imports in Ukraine. “Let’s earn our living,” read a sign on a tractor-trailer blocking the main road planted with potatoes, eggs and manure.

Like protests turned violent again, the police used tear gas and water cannons to keep about 250 farmers and tractors from leaving, even as ministers met to resolve the situation. Officials asked travelers to stay away from Brussels and work from home as much as possible.

Farmers, police and firefighters all nursed the injured, but none were life-threatening. The government has criticized the farmers for failing to contain the rioters who threw electric bicycles off a bridge and set fire to the entrance of a subway station.

“Violence, burning and vandalism during the protests are unacceptable,” said Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden and insisted that the perpetrators would be prosecuted.

I am exhibitions taking place from Finland to Greece, Poland and Ireland, Farmers have already won concessions from EU and national authorities, from liberalizing farm controls to weakening pesticide and environmental regulations.

The EU’s main plan to effectively protect the environment in the bloc of 27 countries is to fight global warming he was delayed indefinitely Monday, emphasizing the political impact of the protests.

“For Europe to be strong, there is a need for strong agriculture. So we are here to remind them that their farmers should be first,” said Belgian farmer Yolin TargĂ©. “We have to deal with a lot of administrative tasks. We have to deal with a lot of environmental restrictions. We are in favor of doing everything we can for the environment, however, agriculture has to be the priority.”

EU member states on Tuesday gave their temporary approval to the proposed measures weaken or cut laws in areas such as crop rotation, soil conservation and farming practices. Small farmers, who represent about two-thirds of the working population and are the most active in the protests, will not be free from other controls and sanctions.

The EU Parliament is expected to vote on the proposed measures at the end of April.

Environmentalists and climate activists say the EU policy changes forced by farmers are unfortunate. They say short-term concessions will destabilize the bloc in an age when climate change will have a major impact on the continent.

Politically, the bloc has moved to the right over the past year. The plight of farmers has been the rallying cry of many people and environmentalists who say that the EU’s climate and agricultural policy is little more than a political compromise that has lost land and land.

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