HomeTop StoriesMassive farmers' protests are expected to disrupt Brussels traffic

Massive farmers’ protests are expected to disrupt Brussels traffic

BRUSSELS (AP) — Hundreds of tractors driven by angry farmers protesting a plan to reduce nitrate levels headed for Brussels on Friday, causing major traffic disruption in the Belgian capital.

The BB farmers’ association and several others joined forces and expected more than 2,000 tractors. Police warned disruptions could last until the end of the day and advised people to use public transport rather than personal cars.

The Flemish government is struggling to find a deal to reduce nitrate pollution, despite farmers’ objections that doing so would put many out of business.

Farmers also claim their trade needs to cut much deeper than industry and want a more equitable spread. The negotiations have been dragging on for weeks and have weakened the regional government of northern Belgium to a breaking point.

The debate over agricultural pollution is increasingly becoming a political issue in many of the EU’s farming nations. It will be a focal point of the Dutch elections in two weeks and will also affect Belgium, another EU country where intensive farming has pitted environmentalists against the agricultural lobby.

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