Farmers invade CCDR do Alentejo in Évora, despite PSP opposition

This was the 6th national demonstration and the 3rd in Alentejo

photo: file

Tempers flared today at the farmers' demonstration in Évora, with some of the participants in the protest invading the lobby of the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development (CCDR) of Alentejo, despite opposition from the PSP.

On the march, the farmers stopped in front of the CCDR do Alentejo facilities and a delegation entered the building to deliver a claiming document, which was received by an employee.

On the way out, one of the members of the group took a chain from a plastic bag and padlocked two of the doors, which led the PSP to intervene to reopen them.

The padlock was eventually opened with the key handed over by the farmers and the chain was removed.

The CCDR entrance, all in glass, was never completely blocked, because there are several other doors that were open.

This was the 6th national demonstration and the 3rd in Alentejo (the others were in Portalegre and Beja) convened by the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP) and, in addition to having attended around 70 agricultural organizations from all the country, had several hundred tractors and a few thousand farmers.

Like the previous ones, it began peacefully and lasted almost the entire route, but the fact that the dossier with the sector's problems could not be handed over to a senior CCDR Alentejo official made some farmers lose patience.

With already high spirits and shouts of “bandits” and “invasion”, some forced the doors and entered, staying in the atrium area.

Outside, PSP elements at the scene tried to contain the entry of the demonstrators, who continued to knock on the glass doors and want to join those inside, with whistles and shouting slogans against the Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes.

After talking to some people from the CCDR, the demonstrators who were inside the facilities ended up leaving and the march resumed the route established by the Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP).

Then, the participants in the march stopped in front of the Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Alentejo, whose director, José Calado, received CAP officials and the organization of the protest at the entrance.

The president of CAP, Eduardo Oliveira e Sousa, explained to the regional director what had happened at the CCDR, which had been “the image of patience running out”, because the farmers felt “a certain disdain”, and thanked the José Calado for having received them at the gates of the regional directorate.

Speaking to journalists, the president of CAP justified that, at the CCDR, “there was an uproar, because the farmers had warned that they had a document to be delivered, the president was not present, nor had he delegated someone to receive it”.

“Blood came to the surface and there was a bit of a lack of patience there,” he said.

Questioned by Lusa, the president of CAP rejected that there was an invasion by CCDR: “There was no invasion. There was a certain indignation over the way in which the farmers were expecting to be received and ended up not being received and that's why there were some uproars. Fortunately nothing happened, if it was in France possibly the building was broken and here it didn't happen ”, he just acknowledged.