PODCAST: Catalan farmers' protests: Why are they demonstrating?

A growing dissatisfaction with agricultural policies has led to large, widespread protests by farmers in Catalonia

Tractor in Girona protesting with banner "Our end, your hunger - farming or death"
Tractor in Girona protesting with banner "Our end, your hunger - farming or death" / Gerard Vilà
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 24, 2024 10:09 AM

February 24, 2024 12:31 PM

On February 6, Catalan farmers drove their tractors out of the fields, draped them with slogans such as “La nostra fi, la vostra fam”, or “Our end, your hunger” and marched slowly but determinedly toward Barcelona in one of the largest coordinated protests in years.

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All across Europe, farmers are protesting, stopping traffic with their tractors to sound the alarm on what many feel is the slow death of the agricultural sector. 

Fed up with what they see as politicians who had left them behind, farmers are deciding that the only way to get them to listen is to drown out every other sound. 

In Catalonia, the farmers not only descended on Barcelona, but they also made sure their voices were heard all over Catalonia when they blocked some of the main roads and one of the busiest highways, bringing a large part of the country to a standstill for 30 hours. 

We hear from 12 farmers who took part in the protests about the disappointments, demands and dreams of a sector that feels neglected as it deals with everything from environmental regulations to rising production costs, excessive red tape, and a lack of drought relief, just to mention a few. 

After Catalan politicians met with the farmers, a tentative agreement was reached, but the question remains: is it enough to solve all the problems?  

Lea Beliaeva Bander is joined by Oriol Escudé Macià, who sheds light on the farmers' protests and explains what lies ahead. 

This week's Catalan phrase is 'picar pedra'. Literally, 'to crush stone', it means to work hard at something without necessarily achieving a gain in the end.   

Get in touch with the podcast team: fillingthesink@acn.cat.   

Listen to more episodes of Filling the Sink below or find out more here.