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Belgian farmers drive tractors into Brussels to protest EU’s agricultural policy, low income

Belgian farmers on Tuesday drove tractors into the capital Brussels, near the EU Commission building, to protest the bloc's agricultural policy and low income, local media reported.

The farmers were staging a rally on their tractors at the same time that EU agriculture ministers were meeting, RTL broadcaster reported.

Approximately 150 tractors blocked the streets and caused traffic disruptions, the broadcaster said.

Farmers from various regions of Belgium traveled to Brussels to protest for the third time, following previous demonstrations on Feb. 1 and Feb. 26.

Farmers across Europe have been expressing their anger for months over low wages, and EU and national policies including restrictions, food imports, and trade support for Ukrainian grain.

Last week, the EU decided to introduce barrier duties on grain exports from Belarus and Russia, following a series of protests in Europe by farmers demanding the cessation of the export of Ukrainian food products that are exempt from taxes and duties.

They said cheap Ukrainian agricultural products destroy farming in EU countries, particularly those bordering Ukraine.

The EU Commission in mid-March also agreed to abandon pesticide restrictions, increase rye and barley subsidies, maintain the current level of agricultural tax, and lift restrictions on plant protection products and the need for fallow land.


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