Law enforcement attacks with tear gas at demonstrating farmers in Brussels


(MENAFN) Tensions flared in Brussels as protesting farmers clashed with police near the European Council's main building, leading to the deployment of tear gas to disperse the crowd. The farmers expressed frustration over perceived excessive bureaucracy and competition from inexpensive Ukrainian grain imports. Attempting to break through police barriers, the demonstrators demanded increased support from the European Union, surrounding the European Union headquarters in a show of defiance.

Authorities reported over 300 tractors in the Brussels streets, with many parked near the cordoned-off area around the European Union headquarters where ministers were convening.

Social media footage depicted farmers setting fires to piles of tires and hay bales on Rue de la Loi, a major thoroughfare parallel to the European Council's headquarters. In a symbolic gesture of protest, demonstrators sprayed manure from a truck onto baton-wielding police officers, while water cannons were deployed to control the flames.

The protest coincided with a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers discussing proposals to alleviate pressure on farmers, including potential reductions in farm inspections and exemptions for small farms from specific environmental standards. This marked the second major farmer protest in Brussels in recent weeks, reflecting the growing discontent within the agricultural community regarding policy challenges and market dynamics.

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