The border crossing with France reopens after French winegrowers looted Spanish trucks

The Government’s efforts through the Spanish embassy in Paris (particularly between the Ministries of Agriculture and the Interior of both countries), following the blockade of French winegrowers at the Le Perthus border crossing, have led to its reopening at 3 p.m. and there have been no new incidents.

According to sources from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, “the Spanish Government, after the contacts that have been made, hopes and wishes that such illegal acts will not occur again.”

Around 500 French winegrowers blocked the Le Perthus crossing this Thursday to demand an end to imports, proceeded to filter the vehicles entering from Spain and looted a truck with tomatoes, whose load they emptied on the asphalt.

Their complaints are directed in particular against the bulk wine that arrives from Spain and which in most cases is bottled in France for marketing.

The agricultural and goods transport organizations have rejected the incident and have demanded the intervention of the authorities against what they consider an act of vandalism against the free circulation of goods that is included in the European Union treaties.

Inaction by law enforcement

The Prefecture (government delegation) of the Eastern Pyrenees explained to EFE that the winegrowers emptied the cargo from Spanish trucks, but did not give any information about the inaction of the law enforcement forces.

He did specify that the protesters had completely closed entrance 43 of the highway in Le Boulou and had reduced the passage at the toll to two lanes, through which they allowed light vehicles and “some trucks” to circulate after filtering them.
The Prefecture had asked mid-morning to avoid the area due to the possibility of “strong slowdowns.”

A part of the protesters had begun their action in Narbonne, where the president of the Aude Winegrowers’ Union, Frédéric Rouanet, announced that they were going to “stop Spanish imports”, which they accuse of causing the collapse of many farms in the south of France with prices much lower than theirs.

Spanish farmers demand measures against the blockade

The agricultural organizations Asaja, COAG and UPA have demanded that the authorities take measures against the attack in France on their products, after French winegrowers blocked a border crossing with Spain this Thursday.

Their complaints are directed in particular against the bulk wine that arrives from Spain and which in most cases is bottled in France for marketing.

The president of Asaja in La Rioja, Eduardo Pérez, has rejected, in statements to Efeagro, that “the French police did not take measures” to prevent it and has demanded that the authorities “take action on the matter.”

He considered that these types of acts “are common practices with different food products” and this time he has targeted purchases of Spanish wine in France.

“Wine purchases are made every year but, if the price of bulk wine is above the cost as established by the Chain Law, there is no problem. We also have stock problems in Spain, but that has nothing to do with wine purchases between countries of the European Union (EU),” Pérez stated.

By Usmana Kousar