Spanish farmers gathered for the third consecutive day across the country to protest the challenges faced by the agricultural sector. This demonstration was organized by the major agricultural organizations, following earlier protests mobilized through WhatsApp groups and smaller associations.
The three representative unions in the agricultural sector—Asaja (Young Farmers’ Agrarian Association), Coag (Coordinator of Farmers and Ranchers Organizations), and UPA (Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers)—highlighted the discontent among farmers, expressing concerns about precarious and challenging working conditions.
After a show of strength in Barcelona, columns of tractors once again took to the roads. The unions justified the blockades, emphasizing the widespread dissatisfaction within the profession.
“If the tractor protests, it means the countryside is under pressure,” stated Asaja on the X social network. Marcos Alarcón, the Deputy General Secretary of the UPA, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that farmers aim to leverage this massive mobilization in negotiations.
Major concentrations occurred in central Spain, particularly in Salamanca, Ciudad Real, and Ávila. In Barcelona, where nearly a thousand tractors occupied the streets the previous day, some farmers spent the night in the city center, with most dispersing on Thursday morning.
These protests, occurring as demonstrations waned in most other European countries, led to occasional clashes between protesters and law enforcement, which intervened to lift some blockades.
The Ministry of Interior reported several arrests on Thursday, bringing the total to 19 since the start of the protest movement. A minor injury was reported among the law enforcement personnel.
Spanish livestock farmers, like their counterparts in other European countries, complain about the bureaucracy and complexity of European regulations, low prices for their products, and what they perceive as unfair competition from foreign goods.
“There is undoubtedly discontent,” acknowledged Transport Minister Óscar Puente, adding that while there is room for expressing grievances, blocking the country requires law enforcement action.
The Spanish supermarket association, Anged, called on authorities to take necessary measures to ensure the free movement of people and goods, warning of potential economic impacts from the protests.
During a press conference on Wednesday evening, Agriculture Minister Luis Planas stated that the government is open to dialogue with farmers to find solutions. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez committed to improving the 2013 law on the food chain and simplifying the implementation of the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), perceived as excessively bureaucratic by farmers. Spain, often referred to as the “vegetable garden of Europe,” faces challenges in its agricultural sector, mainly due to a three-year drought affecting the country.