Two major roads from Belgium into France have been blocked by dairy farmers to defend an industry they claim is under threat.
Like colleagues across Europe, Belgian agricultural workers say falling milk prices are putting their livelihood in jeopardy. Their protest, the latest in a series of EU-wide demonstrations, brought trucks to a halt. Lorries were blocked from going between Tournai in Belgium and the French city of Lille, and also between Mons in Belgium and Valenciennes in France. Trade union leader Emmanuel Tassignon said: “We want to block Belgium’s economy, paralyse Belgium, to put a little pressure on ministers on a national and European level.” And they are being helped by their counterparts from over the border in France. “Today there is a problem with meat and milk,” said one French farmer. “We are all in the same boat.” The blockade comes as European Union Agriculture Ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the problem. The EU’s executive body, the European Commission, has announced limited aid. But it has refused to go back on a decision to scrap milk quotas.