Portuguese lorries stranded across France due to farmers’ blockades
Image for Lusa: Olivier Matthys

Portuguese lorries stranded across France due to farmers’ blockades

Blockades “greatly affecting” imports and exports of Portuguese companies

An undisclosed number of Portuguese lorries have been stranded across France for a week due to the French farmers’ blockades, the spokesman for the National Association of Public Road Hauliers (ANTRAM) has told Lusa.

“We can’t quantify it, but there are many Portuguese lorry drivers stranded due to the farmers’ blockade in France. 

“At the moment the situation is very worrying, not just because it’s been going on for several days, but because there’s no visibility as to when it might end,” said André Matias de Almeida.

French farmers are blocking multiple roads in the country to denounce falling incomes, low pensions, administrative complexity, inflation of standards and foreign competition.

According to the latest reports, they plan to hold an “indefinite siege of the capital (Paris)” from this afternoon.

And, according to Matias de Almeida, the tactics mean that not only are around 20 motorways blocked, but the roads that could be alternatives are cut off to traffic as well.

The drama has already “greatly affected the import and export of Portuguese companies,” said ANTRAM’s spokesman.

For the time being, there are no problems with the supply of basic necessities – but Portuguese companies are already being impacted.

The French government has tried to intervene, to lift restrictions on the movement of vehicles, but it only allows them to return to their place of origin, to the parent company – or to complete the journey that is closest to the destination, explains Matias de Almeida, stressing there is no parallel to what is happening in France, “not just because of the scale it has reached, but because of the number of days it has been going on. We have a country blocked!” he said.

ANTRAM is in constant contact with its French counterpart, providing hourly updates to its more than 2,000 members.

French farmers have been using their tractors to block roads and slow down traffic across France for the best part of the last week, seeking better pay for their products, less bureaucracy and protection against imports.

Last week, the French government announced a series of measures that, according to farmers, do not fully satisfy their demands.

Today, the government has promised to present new measures within 48 hours and pledges that it will “renegotiate the end of compulsory set-aside” at the European Union (EU) summit scheduled for Thursday.

Source: LUSA