04 June 1998
Countryside rally for Cardiff
By FWi staff
THOUSANDS of country people are expected to turn up for a major rally in Cardiff, Wales, next week to protest about the crisis facing the rural economy.
The rally, to be held on Sunday, 14 June, coincides with the opening of the European Union heads of Government summit in the city. As the rally gets under way, the heads of Government will be arriving in the city for their summit to mark the end of the UKs six-month EU presidency.
The march is being organised by the National Farmers Union, Farmers Union of Wales, the Country Landowners Association and other organisations. Organisers are urging as many farmers to turn up as possible, claiming that their grievances are likely aired around the world by the international media.
Ben Gill, NFU president, said Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jack Cunningham, agriculture minister, had both been pressing Europe hard in recent months to lift the beef export ban. He said a show of force by British farmers – while the heads of Government gathered in Cardiff – could only help our leaders in their efforts to get the ban lifted.
Hugh Richards, NFU Wales chairman, said the march would be an opportunity for all rural people, and not just farmers, to protest against the current crisis.
He said the rally would provide people with an opportunity to voice their anger over low farm incomes, the beef export ban, the strength of Sterling, the lack of agri-money compensation and reforms to the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
The rally kicks off at Cardiff Rugby Club at 12.30.