STAFF REPORTER

MADRID/PALMA
SCORES of farmers from Majorca and Minorca who protested against the lack of government aid and attention the farming sector is receiving on Friday, yesterday joined thousands of Spanish farmers in central Madrid to demand government action to halt a slide in prices which they say is forcing them out of business.

Three leading Spanish farmers' unions said more than 100'000 members joined the march led by tractors and bands of bagpipers, which forced police to divert traffic as they made their way through the capital's historical centre to the Agriculture Ministry.

Depressed prices have prompted protests by farmers across Europe this year, and a demonstration last month brought traffic to a standstill in Paris for two hours.

The rally in Madrid followed a strike on Friday in which unions say hundreds of thousands of farmers downed tools across the country to block roads, line streets with tractors or sell produce at cost. Many farmers waved banners saying: “They ruin us and charge you more.” Mougan estimated farmers had been making a loss for the past eight or nine months, and would stop producing altogether if this were to continue.

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