Farmers’ Plight Shifts Focus to Rome as Sanremo Puzzle Persists

Farmers’ Plight Shifts Focus to Rome as Sanremo Puzzle Persists

Despite the lack of unity among the protesting farmers, their demonstrations continue. Different groups have spontaneously taken to the streets, mobilizing tractors as a symbol of their protest against several EU regulations. The Riscatto Agricolo movement made an announcement on Wednesday afternoon, stating they had accepted an invitation from TV host Amadeus to present their grievances on the Ariston stage at the Sanremo Festival. However, officials from Rai denied having any contact with representatives of the farmers’ associations in relation to their potential presence at the event in Sanremo. To further their cause, a convoy of 15 tractors departed from Melegnano on Wednesday evening, aiming to reach the Ligurian Riviera by night, led by a group of young farmers who will act as the representatives of the protest.

We still look towards Rome

The farmers also aim to make their presence felt in the Capital. On Friday morning, approximately 1,500 demonstrators along with 10 tractors will congregate in Piazza San Giovanni for the Agricultural Redemption demonstration. This arrangement was reportedly made following several meetings between the Police Headquarters and leaders of the farmers’ movement. Initially, the group had requested for a march on the Grande Raccordo Anulare on the same day. The Cra Agricoltori Traditi, with Danilo Calvani – known for his role in the 2013 ‘pitchfork’ protests – among its leaders, also has its sights set on Rome. In the meantime, the government and the speakers have until 2pm to propose an amendment to the Milleproroghe decree, which would modify the parameters of the agricultural income tax, partially accommodating the protestors’ demands.

Political discussions

Giorgia Meloni, the Prime Minister, claims that the government has been defending the agricultural sector even before the demonstrations began. She added that as part of the renegotiation of the Pnrr, they have managed to allocate 3 billion euros for agricultural companies. The political discourse throughout the day is dominated by the protests. Tommaso Foti, the group leader of Fratelli d’Italia in the Chamber of Deputies, revealed that they are contemplating a remodulation of the Irpef to safeguard small farmers. Valentino Valentini, deputy minister of Business and Made in Italy, added that while the responsibility lies with other ministries, they are trying to find a compromise. Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister and leader of Italia Viva, called for Lollobrigida’s resignation, stating that Italy requires a minister, not a brother-in-law, to oversee agriculture.

Moreover, they pointed out that while tractors across Europe are protesting against Brussels’ policies, in Italy, they are protesting against the increased taxes on agriculture. Riccardo Magi, secretary of Più Europa, warned that if the farmers do get a chance to voice their grievances against the European Union at the Sanremo stage, Rai and Amadeus should inform the viewers about the significant support that the EU provides to the agricultural sector, with over 25% of the European budget being allocated for it.