Madrid urges Paris to stop attacks on Spanish trucks in Fran...| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 01 July 2022 04:59 GMT

Madrid urges Paris to stop attacks on Spanish trucks in France

(MENAFN- AFP) Spain on Friday urged Paris to stop attacks by French farmers against Spanish trucks carrying produce as part of a protest against falling food prices, saying the assaults were growing and carried out with "impunity".

"The Spanish government expressed via diplomatic means this morning to French authorities its deep concern over the serious events that are taking place on French roads," the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The assaults against trucks carrying food with Spanish and other foreign licence plates are multiplying. The authors of these attacks are French farmers who are acting with impunity, putting the safety of Spanish truck drivers at risk," it added.

French farmers have been furious over falling food prices, which they blame on foreign competition as well as supermarkets and distributors.

In late July they stopped hundreds of lorries bringing produce from Germany, setting up checkpoints with around 1,000 people and tractors, while similar protests took place near the Spanish frontier.

Farmers ransacked trucks from Spain on a highway in the southwestern Haute-Garonne region, threatening to unload any meat or fruit bound for the French market.

On Tuesday, Spain's union of small farmers and livestock breeders that French farmers had attacked a Spanish truck near Toulouse, and distributed the meat it was transporting to a local zoo.

French farmers have also dumped manure in cities, blocked access roads and motorways and hindered tourists from reaching Mont St-Michel in northern France, one of the country's most visited sites, in protest.

Spain's foreign ministry said it had sent a list of the Spanish trucks that had been attacked on French soil to French authorities and to the European Commission and demanded to be "urgently informed" about the measures Paris plans to take to stop the assaults.

"These attacks are an obvious violation of European rules, which enshrine the free circulation of people and goods through the territory of the European Union," the statement said.

"They are an unacceptable intimidation which affects both Spanish producers and truckers as well and the French distributers of its goods."

Madrid made its protest after receiving complaints from associations representing farmers and truck drivers.

French farmers estimate that around 10 percent of farms in France -- approximately 22,000 operations -- are on the brink of bankruptcy with a combined debt of 1.0 billion euros.

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