Protesting farmers get $795m in EU aid

Thousands of angry European farmers pelted the police with eggs and hay in Brussels as they demanded emergency EU funds to help them cope with plunging food prices and soaring costs.
Thousands of angry European farmers pelted the police with eggs and hay in Brussels as they demanded emergency EU funds to help them cope with plunging food prices and soaring costs.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BRUSSELS • European Union (EU) farmers who have protested against plunging agriculture prices by pelting police with hay and eggs are to get €500 million (S$795 million) in emergency aid from the European Commission.

EU agricultural ministers endorsed the package in Brussels on Monday. Protesters near the EU's headquarters had honked horns, clanged cow-bells, blown whistles, thrown hay and set a hay-stack on fire to draw lawmakers' attention.

Most were from Belgium, France and Germany, but others came from Britain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Lithuania.

Plummeting prices for milk, meat, fruit and vegetables have spurred losses for farmers across Europe, according to farm lobby Copa-Cogeca.

Russia's ban on food imports from the EU, slowing demand from China and an oversupply of milk and pork have contributed to their woes. The measures are aimed at cash-flow issues and stabilising markets, the commission said.

BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Protesting farmers get $795m in EU aid'. Print Edition | Subscribe