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Catalan farmers have resumed their protests this Tuesday and, after blocking traffic at several major routes, around Catalonia are now saying that they will maintain these blockades until Thursday. The reason: the failure of a meeting with Catalan climate action minister David Mascort to materialise. The first to announce this were the farmers who had blocked the main AP-7 north-south motorway in Pontós, in the far north of Catalonia. Members of the Revolta Pagesa ("Farmers' Revolt") platform at Pontós warned the ACN agency that the protest will not end until there are explicit commitments from the Catalan government, and asserted that they have "a lot of strength" left to maintain the blockage in the Alt Empordà county. The platform says that they feel "disdained" because they were not been able to meet with the minister, who excused himself for "personal reasons".

This protest was originally planned for this Tuesday and Wednesday, but now they have announced that they will stay until Thursday. All the farmers take for granted that they will spend this Tuesday night on the highway and have assured that they do not want to remove the tractors until Thursday, if there are no results from the negotiations with the Catalan government. One of the Revolta Pagesa members insisted on the fact that they want tangible results from the first negotiations that they had opened and that should have been achieved in the meeting planned for this afternoon, at which the minister Mascort was not present.

The Coll d'Ares blockage will also last longer

Meanwhile, this Tuesday afternoon a concert was held in the middle of the highway, featuring the orchestra Diversiones and the group Pelukass. The distraction helped warm up the protest, in colder weather than in previous weeks - with lower temperatures and a northerly Tramuntana wind that had been blowing all day. The organizers assure that they are in good shape to keep the protest up until Thursday.

In the Ripollès county, farmers will also maintain the roadblock on the Coll d'Ares border crossing, on the C-58 highway, until Thursday. In Puigcerdà (Cerdanya), around 85 tractors and 80 vehicles gathered this Tuesday, including fifteen from Bages, Osona and Berguedà. As at Coll d'Ares, demonstrators checked the trucks and emptied those carrying products imported from outside the European Union - they will donate the goods to charitable causes.

Out west, road closures on the A-2 and AP-2 at Soses, will remain in place until Thursday. In Catalonia's western Plana de Lleida, there were a series of highway blockages this Tuesday: as mentioned, at Soses (Segrià county), around 250 tractors and 150 other vehicles cut the A-2 and AP-2; at Tàrrega (Urgell county), around 430 tractors blocked the A-2; at Alfarràs (Segrià), around 60 tractors and 100 other people cut the C-26; at Almacelles (Segrià), 50 tractors and 20 vehicles concentrated on the A-22; and at Alcarràs (Segrià), there were 60 tractors on the A-2 and AP-2; in Bassella (Alt Urgell), 60 tractors and a hundred people obstructed the C-14; in Alta Ribagorça, around 20 tractors and 20 other vehicles, with 50 people, rallied in Les Bordes (El Pont de Suert), near the junction with the N-260.

Concert al tall pagesos AP 7 Pontos / ACN
Concert at the point of the farmers' AP-7 motorway roadblock in Pontos, near Figueres / ACN

According to Unió de Pagesos, this Tuesday nearly 1,200 tractors gathered in protests across Catalonia, in addition to several hundred other vehicles and people. The objective of the mobilizations is to protest against the unfair competition from imports that do not meet the same conditions required for agricultural production in EU countries, and the excess of bureaucracy, among other issues.