40,000 farmers in Brussels punch-up

23 February 1999

40,000 farmers in Brussels punch-up

ABOUT 40,000 of Europes farmers took their campaign against the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) onto the streets of Brussels yesterday (Monday) – and ended up fighting police.

The French-led farmers army was held in check by razor-wire barriers manned by 5000 Belgian riot police, equipped with batons, teargas, water-cannon and armoured cars.

Ten police officers were injured and 12 protestors were arrested in a series of skirmishes.

The French, Italian and Belgian groups of farmers let off their traditional fireworks.

Ben Gill of the National Farmers Union set out the moderate position of British farmers.

Agriculture ministers were starting a five-day meeting to revamp the European Unions £30 billion annual farm budget.

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