Farmers’ protest, which began in Bombarral and ended in Caldas da Rainha, demobilized

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Around two hundred tractors and agricultural machinery that today carried out a slow march between Bombarral and Caldas da Rainha began to demobilize around 5pm, with a final protest march through the city center.

“This was the first one, but there will be more,” said farmer José Marcelino, at the plenary session that closed the day of protest that today saw around two hundred tractors marching slowly between Bombarral and Caldas da Rainha, both in the district of Leiria.

The farmers left Bombarral at 08:45, held a rally in Óbidos and headed to Caldas da Rainha, where they gathered from 14:30 for an informal plenary session at Campo da Feira.

During the plenary session, a manifesto of demands was presented, signed at the end by the demonstrators, with the aim of delivering it to the future Minister of Agriculture after the legislative elections on March 10 and the formation of the new government.

“There’s no point in handing the manifesto over to the current minister [of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes], who is a card out of joint,” said fruit grower Nicolau Félix, from the Movimento Cívico de Agricultores do Oeste (Civic Movement of Farmers of the West), maintaining that the document with 14 demands translates into “demands that will do a lot for the West, but also for national agriculture”.

That’s why he warned the next head of agriculture that farmers “will be truly vigilant” to ensure that the measures that “have to move forward very soon are carried out, because in two or three legislatures it will be too late” to save a sector that requires “a great effort, almost bordering on masochism”.

In addition to the manifesto, today’s protest also gave rise to the conviction that farmers “have to be united in order to be heard”, recalled José Marcelino, who closed this afternoon’s plenary session with an appeal to his peers: “don’t despair, because if you keep stepping on our toes we’re all going to Lisbon”.

And on that day, he added, “it won’t just be the West, it will be farmers from all over the country” who he believes will be able to take part in a national protest by the sector that “will close Lisbon”.

During the morning, the slow march caused traffic restrictions on the National Road (EN) 8, between Bombarral and Caldas da Rainha, with part of the traffic being diverted to Highway 8.

The tractors, which arrived in Caldas da Rainha at around 1pm, also caused some traffic disruption during the PSP-led march through the city, after which they concentrated on the fairground until they demobilized with another march through the city.

The slow march was organized by the Movimento Cívico de Agricultores da Região Oeste, a spontaneous movement created among professionals in the sector in the region and which, according to Nicolau Félix, has “around 1,000 farmers”.

Around seventy tractors in a slow march left Bombarral

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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