Spain wants to put an end to the climate of tension at the Le Perthus border crossing as soon as possible. Dialogue and the search for solutions will be the tools that the acting Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, will use to alleviate the tension of the French winegrowers, who this Thursday blocked the passage of several Spanish trucks and threw the products they transported.
The Government has indicated that they have “always” opted for dialogue “in the face of situations that can cause tensions” and not lead to conflict situations, Gómez said upon his arrival in Valencia to the meeting of European Trade Ministers, organized under the presidency that Spain exercises this semester. “We have always shown all the interest in the world in dialogue and seeking solutions and we extend our hand to reach these agreements,” said the Executive.
The acting head of Industry and Commerce has stated that the Spanish Government does not want to condition and generate any type of instability in this cause, but admits that “other channels must be” that put an end to this conflict. The beginning of this tension occurred this Thursday at the Le Perthus pass. There, around 500 French winegrowers blocked the passage to demand an end to imports, and subsequently proceeded to filter the vehicles entering from Spain, and looted a truck carrying tomatoes, as well as others carrying wine, whose load they emptied into the asphalt.
The complaints from French winegrowers focus on the bulk wine that arrives in Spain and that in a large part of the cases the bottling process is carried out in France for subsequent marketing. The Ministries of Agriculture and Interior of both countries coordinated this Thursday to end the climate of tension.
The acting Minister of Industry has condemned the act of the French winegrowers, and has indicated that the portfolio he heads will not be the department in charge of starting talks with France, but that he will be in contact with the Ministry of Agriculture in case there are any developments. The issue. “The Government condemns these acts, which threaten the free movement of goods within the European Union and which harm the interests of those affected. “We are in contact with the French authorities so that normality is restored and these incidents are not reproduced,” they say from Moncloa.
Valencian farmers demand attention
A few meters from where the event of European ministers took place, a small group of farmers demonstrated demanding greater attention to the sector and more aid. The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) and La Unió Llaudora i Ramadera have been the agricultural organizations that have protested asking for greater coordination with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture. They demand that the European Union not help large companies so much and that they focus more on smaller crop fields.
The president of AVA, Cristóbal Aguado, calls for “reciprocity” in international agreements to compete in the market. They request changes in the agricultural policy of the European Union because the current one “has been done with its feet.” They demand a committee of experts to evaluate the case and greater funding for pest control.
The general secretary of La Unió, Carles Peris, agrees with Aguado and complains about the lack of focus that the European market has on foreign countries. They call “unfair competition” the way in which third countries have lower and cheaper production standards than Spain. “What we cannot do is promote sustainability and climate change and at the same time bring products from the other side of the world with the carbon footprint impact that this transportation has,” says Peris.
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