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European farmers protest over lost revenue from Russia sanctions retaliation

European farmers protest over lost revenue from Russia sanctions retaliation
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Spanish farmers have been dumping produce in the streets angry that sanctions against Russia over Ukraine will cost them dear.

They are critical of the European Commission saying it is not doing enough to compensate for the lost markets for products Moscow has banned from being imported in retaliation for the EU sanctions.

In Italy too there is fury over the damage because caused to the agricultural sector. Dozens of trucks carrying tons of goods are stopped at the country’s border or are returning to Italy.

Farmer Barbara Gambaro said: “Forty percent of our production goes to Russia. We have 40 people working here: 20 permanently and 20 seasonal. With this embargo, we will be forced not to renew the seasonal contracts, because of course there will be no work.”

Her partner Paolo Gambaro added: “Unfortunately, the prices will drop, there will be a surplus and the market will collapse.”

The effects are being felt by everyone from Scotland’s mackerel fishing fleets to German industry which is suffering a slowdown and falloff in confidence amid the geopolitical tensions.

Economists at the Dutch financial group ING calculate Moscow’s ban on western food could cost 6.7 billion euros annually in lost production and puts 130,00 jobs at risk around Europe.

Brussels has allocated 125 million euros to producers from its 400 million euro compensation fund, but last year the EU sold over two billion euros worth of fruit and vegetable to Russia.