Europe 1 with AFP 3:31 p.m., February 5, 2024

Dozens of Italian farmers driving their tractors converged on the gates of Rome on Monday, hoping to be able to enter in large numbers in order to present their demands to the government, AFP journalists noted.

Departing from Tuscany (central-north), around fifty tractors should reach the Roman ring road in the afternoon and park near Via Nomentana, an artery linking the heart of the capital.

Their intention is to stay there all week until a demonstration expected to bring together between 1,500 and 2,000 tractors on Friday, Andrea Papa, co-founder of the Riscatto agricolo (Agricultural Recovery) movement, told AFP.

200 tractors are massed near the Turin ring road

“We came to meet the Minister of Agriculture and ask him to open a permanent round table,” explained this 33-year-old cereal grower. In Turin (north), around 200 tractors are massed near the ring road and plan to stay there all week, according to an AFP photographer.


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Italian farmers, who have been demonstrating in the region for several days, are demanding in particular fair remuneration, the elimination of taxes on fuel and an increase in the price of milk, fewer ecological standards and more control of harmful species (wild boar).

“It is not relief that we need, but the removal of all excise duties on agricultural fuel,” according to Davide Rosati, a 22-year-old sheep farmer.

Reproaches towards Brussels policy

From Japan where she is on an official visit, the head of government Giorgia Meloni explained "the anger of the farmers" by "an ideological reading of the ecological transition", which according to her consists of "defending the environment by fighting the farmers" .

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The far-right leader and her executive regularly criticize Brussels for imposing, in the name of ecological transition, standards contrary to Italy's industrial and agricultural interests.

Italy, third agricultural power in the European Union

Rome, the main beneficiary of the European recovery plan after the Covid-19 pandemic, recently renegotiated it upwards to increase the aid devoted to its agriculture from five to eight billion euros, recalled Giorgia Meloni.

She also argued that Italy “has made the effort to extend aid for diesel”. “We did our best,” she insisted at a press conference. Italy is the 3rd agricultural power in the EU behind France and Germany, with production of 71.5 billion euros in 2022, according to the European Commission.