Farmers block main road in South Italy

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Several groups of farmers in protest have made several blockades with farm equipment on several important road and train lines in the South of Italy yesterday.

The farmers are protesting for the prices being paid to them for their grape harvest this season (about 2 or 2.50 eur for 100 kg) in an effort to obtain more money from the state in the form of subsidies.

The protest, riot and manifestation are very common in Italy around this time in the grape-growing season. In the past there have even been protests and riots even some soccer teams from the premium league became involved in.

As usual the police were not able to contain the riots and as a result many important transportation roads and train lines have been blocked. Trenitalia, the main Italian train company, suppressed many of it's trains and all the trains from the Puglia (the most South East region of Italy) were forced to stop in Bari. Only one train, with destination to Rome, has been routed to an alternative route.

It is reported that a person, among the manifestant, has been killed trying to stop a van. The driver of the van has been arrested by the police and accused of killing while the other people on the van were beaten by the other manifestants.

The road and train blocks were finally removed, after the Minister of Agriculture have declared that he will do all that is possible to take apart the blockades that rest in government in order to give more economic aid to the farmers.