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Protesting farmers block main roads in Poland

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By Seamus Kearney
Protesting farmers block main roads in Poland

Farmers are blocking main roads across Poland in a protest over the loss of their crops.

Farming organisations are demanding compensation from the government.

Crops have been ruined in many regions by wild boars.

There is also a drop in sales due to a ban on the slaughter of animals for rituals.

Farmers say they are also suffering because of the Russian embargo on fruit and vegetables.

One protester told reporters: “We’re are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

“We simply do not have the money to pay our loans. All of the equipment we use is not ours. Everybody took out a loan.”

Poland’s Agriculture Minister, Marek Sawicki, has criticised the blocking of roads.

He says the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ) had already agreed to take part in negotiations with the government.

But the union says they want to meet directly with the prime minister, saying little progress is being made with the agriculture minister.

The unions also complain that the government was able to find money for a loan to Ukraine, but not for its own farmers.

Farming groups are demanding an urgent meeting with the government, complaining that little is being done to address their concerns.

Miners are also on strike over working conditions in a southern region, and the farmers say their action is also in solidarity with them.