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Maltese farmers take to streets to support fellow European farmers

By Xinhua
On 3 February 2024 at 08:35

Hundreds of Maltese farmers took to the streets on Friday in solidarity with their fellow European farmers, who staged demonstrations this week against falling sales prices, rising costs and heavy regulations.

It has been the first protest by Malta’s farming sector since 1982, which was organized by the Active Farmers Association and supported by other sectors in the food chain.

Protesting farmers attached banners to their tractors, reading "No farmer, eat synthetic," "EU kills its own farmers" and "Green deal? No deal," to show their support for peers in other European Union (EU) countries like Belgium, France and Germany.

Maltese farmer Pauline Pisani told Xinhua that "unless Maltese farmers stood up for their rights, no one will."

Farmer Karmenu Vassallo said: "We’re here because we’re fed up with working for nothing. Our costs have increased but we’re forgotten. Without us, there will be no food on the table".

Prime Minister Robert Abela showed up at the protest and talked with the farmers, but did not make any statement.

"We already finding it difficult to compete with larger European producers because they have much more land than us," said Malcolm Borg from the Active Farmers Association.

He said that food producers from third countries do not have to adhere to as stringent regulations as those imposed by the EU, therefore they have lower production costs.

He also blamed the state aid rules imposed by the EU, which frequently hinder national governments from aiding farmers in need. Furthermore, he called for a relaxation of these rules, allowing governments greater flexibility to support and enhance the competitiveness of their agricultural sectors.


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