Belgian farmers have begun to break their blockade after commitments from the Belgian and Flemish governments and the European Commission. They promised, among other things, to look into what farmers saw as stifling regulations with farmers.
Together they want to see if these things can be made easier. In response, major farmer organizations called for the road to be cleared again.
The blockade of the important port of Zeebrugge was lifted on Friday afternoon. Thousands of trucks stranded in and around the port began moving again.
Farmers are also removing barriers they face at supermarket distribution centers. The first shipping center of the Colruyt supermarket chain is accessible. A company spokesman said the other two would follow in the coming hours. The supermarket chain promises to fill empty shelves in stores quickly after the blockage ends.
According to retail organization Commius, there is close consultation with farmers about making distribution centers for other supermarkets available. Farmers once again allow products coming from Belgian territory to pass through the Lidl distribution centre.
Earlier in the day, Commius threatened to issue a report against the protesting farmers if they did not allow waiting trucks to pass quickly.
Belgian farmers have closed several border crossings into the Netherlands since Thursday evening. It is unclear whether these barriers have also been removed.
Earlier on Thursday there were many picnickers in Brussels due to the EU summit. There were also blockages on several Belgian highways. These incidents caused a number of serious accidents.
Peasant protests in several European countries
Farmers didn't just take to the streets in Belgium this week. For example, there have been farmer protests and blockades in France for about two weeks. Many of these barriers were lifted on Friday afternoon in response to the government's commitments on Thursday. Prime Minister Gabriel Attal then announced financial support and other measures.
Some farmers are dissatisfied with the government's commitments. According to French media, closures are still continuing on some roads. According to the farmers who stayed, the commitments are only beneficial to large agricultural companies, the French news channel reported BFMTV.
While the protests subside in France, they begin in Malta. Farmers in this island nation believe that agriculture receives too little support and that the rules regarding the use of pesticides are too strict. They will also suffer from unfair trade agreements. Prime Minister Robert Abela went to a demonstration on Friday evening to talk to farmers.
In the Netherlands, farmers began protesting again since Thursday afternoon. The protesting farmers visited the regional government building in Assen-Nord-Brabant on Friday. In addition, they closed several roads leading to Belgium.
On Thursday, a petition was presented to Guilderland King Commissioner Henry Lenfrink and agricultural MP Harold Zoet (BBB).
Lees verder over de boerenprotesten
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