LUXEMBOURG (AP) -- The European Union backed about $420 million in special aid for the dairy sector on Monday, Oct. 19, hoping to quell a season of unrest in agriculture.
Yet the move by farm ministers was not enough for some protesters. Angry farmers pelted police with eggs and buckets of milk and choked traffic in one of Europe's financial capitals with their tractors, demanding more subsidies and more protective measures to shield them from world markets and the financial crisis.
Facing increasing debts and bankruptcies and producing food at a loss, EU farmers have grown increasingly militant this fall.
"We are not radicals," said Erwin Schoepges, a Belgian milk farmer at the march. "But see, dairy farmers haven't made money for a year."
Yet even if Monday's concession eases the strain on dairy farmers, the same financial squeeze has also struck the cereal, sugar beet, pork and beef sectors. They could now be left in the cold because the commitment to milk farmers in next year's farm budget.