More than 2,000 tractors block Barcelona in unprecedented farmers' protest

Authorities advise against car journeys as Catalan capital comes to a standstill 

Protesting farmers block the AP-7 highway
Protesting farmers block the AP-7 highway / Marina López
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 7, 2024 09:36 AM

February 14, 2024 09:44 AM

Thousands of farmers staged a slow march protest in Barcelona in an unprecedented demonstration in response to the agricultural crisis. 

More than 2,000 tractors arrived in the Catalan capital at around 3 pm on Wednesday through two of Barcelona's main entrances: the Diagonal and Meridiana avenues. 

The massive demonstration follows yesterday's protests in which farmers brought large parts of Catalonia to a standstill.

Farmers are protesting against rising prices, imports from non-EU countries, violations of the law on the food chain and excessive bureaucracy.


Authorities are advising citizens to avoid traveling by car when entering or leaving Barcelona on Wednesday.

Once in the Catalan capital, tractors coming from Terres de l'Ebre, Camp de Tarragona, Ponent and Vilafranca parked their vehicles on Avinguda Diagonal, while those coming from Girona and central Catalonia stopped in front of the headquarters of the Department of Climate Action on Gran Via, after crossing the city on Carrer Aragó and Passeig de Gràcia.

The farmers then went to the headquarters of the European Commission, to the delegation of the Spanish government, and finally to the headquarters of the Catalan government to meet with president Pere Aragonès.

The representatives presented their demands to Aragonès and handed over the collected signatures to the president.

Protests will take place again on February 13, with a new wave of marches and highway blockades, followed by a tractor protest in Madrid on February 21.

Parties clash over handling of farming crisis

Aragonès has already announced that he will meet with the farmers alongside the climate action minister, David Mascort, as both want to show the agricultural sector the support of the government.

The Catalan president called for a "review" of free trade agreements with third countries to ensure "fair prices" and advocated changes in relations with large food chains. Mascort said that the Catalan government is "on the side" of the farmers and has been "for the last eight years".

Pro-independence Junts, however, criticized Aragonès' executive for adding "another layer of red tape" to the already significant bureaucratic processes required by the European Union. Junts MP Salvador Vergés said farmers were "too burdened by bureaucracy" and restrictions due to the ongoing drought in Catalonia.

In the Spanish Congress, ERC MP Teresa Jordà urged the Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez to require third countries to follow the same rules as EU countries and reduce bureaucracy to help farmers. Sánchez promised to "strengthen" the food chain law passed in his previous term to respond to some of the farmers' demands.