Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

I was in Bilbao

22 February 2024 - 10:25

On 9 February, EHNE-Bizkaia and ENBA-Bizkaia, convened in Bilbao, held a concentration of demonstrations between the baserritars of Bizkaia and neighbours and neighbours who approached to show their solidarity. About a hundred tractors from different districts joined the area of San Mamés to reach the Arenal via the Gran Vía.

The progress of the tractors was spectacular, each with its slogans on the cartels, mostly in favour of the small farm model, which has long contributed to the agricultural model and food being incorporated into the debate circuit.

The closing conference of the event called for a sustainable agriculture model with a decent lifestyle for farmers, public policies for small farmers, promotion of relief, fairer distribution of funds from Europe (CAP), etc.

Currently, the agricultural model promoted through public policies directly affects one of the most serious problems worldwide, climate change. We have said on many occasions that the average distance between the place of production and the plate is over 2,000 kilometres, which has a direct impact on this problem. And yet it has not had much influence on European politicians, nor on society. But to alleviate the crisis that climate change can bring, farmers who have participated in mobilisations at European level have asked for the same conditions that are used to produce products from abroad, then we have been concerned.

The problem is that European society (including those in the Basque Country) and trade unions and leftist parties have not discussed or considered food in depth for some time now.

It is, however, worrying that some European farmers are opposed to EU climate measures. The problem is that European society (including those in the Basque Country) and trade unions and leftist parties have not discussed or considered food in depth for a long time. What is serious is that there are fewer and fewer farmers, that we are eating products instead of food, that the world is in an ecological crisis, and that most public policies are moving in the direction that provokes it.

That is why, despite the unrest, doubts and opposing opinions that have taken place on the street, I went to Bilbao called by EHNE and ENBA to denounce this situation.

I am not in favour of the use of chemical phytosanitary, herbicides, hormones and antibiotics, I am against agro-industry, and that is why I believe that we must promote organic farming. According to the above, as required in the act of demonstration.

And in this work, we can't leave the baserritars alone. Like other areas, like feminism, the Basque Country, the pensioners' movement -- we have to look for meeting points and alliances.

We must be clear that if we are to achieve this, we must offer farmers adequate living conditions, wages, pensions, working conditions ...

And if necessary, the farmers themselves will also have to change a few things. If we want a new and powerful sector, it might also have to be changed internally.

All this requires clear and concrete public policies to be promoted in cooperation with farmers and social partners.

In order to get out of this dark agricultural policy of the last decades, transparency will be essential, confidence will have to be restored, statistical data updated, conclusions drawn, and political measures published and subsequently adopted.

José Antonio Lekue Jauregi, former landlord and pensioner

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