farmer-poljoprivreda - polje.jpg
Photograph: freeimages.com/Javier Ramos

The possibility of more aid for struggling farmers was up for discussion by EU agriculture minister Monday, even as Belgian agricultural producers took to the streets to vent their anger about their deteriorating financial situation.

"We are in overproduction today in many agricultural sectors," French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said ahead of the EU talks in Brussels. "I hope that today we will get things moving."

"We hope to reach conclusions at the end of the day about some extra measures," said Dutch Agriculture Minister Martijn Van Dam, who was chairing the ministers' meeting, as his country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

Farmers have been hard-hit by a Russian ban on European food imports, implemented amid political tensions linked to the crisis in Ukraine. Slumping world prices and a summer drought in Europe last year also contributed to the pressure on farms, where incomes have plunged.

The situation is said to be especially dire in the dairy, pork, fruit and vegetable sectors.

The European Commission, the European Union's executive, had already offered support measures worth 500 million euros (556 million dollars) last year, but farmers deemed them insufficient.

Ahead of the Brussels meeting, France and Germany had jointly called for more assistance to farmers - including financial aid and storage measures for excess goods - as well as help with the export of European agricultural products.

Farmers have held protests in different European countries for months. On Monday, Belgian producers were marching in Brussels.

"Our first demand is and remains fair pay for farmers in an agricultural economic context that keeps deteriorating," said the Walloon Federation of Agriculture, which helped organize the protest.

Related stories

Dairy farmers to receive HRK 27.6 million in aid

Latest news

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot at a man who apparently rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's president orders cabinet to help Christians escaping Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.

EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin under 24-hour police protection

EU Ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin and her family have been given 24-hour armed police protection due to threats she has been receiving lately, the Austrian paper Der Standard said on Saturday, explaining that the threats were linked to Vlahutin's monitoring of a reform of Albania's judiciary designed to curb corruption in that country.

Italy deports two over suspected contact with Berlin attacker

Italy has deported two Tunisian asylum seekers who have been classed as a danger to national security, the Interior Ministry in Rome said on Saturday.

Croatian PM says HEP IPO most efficient model for INA buyout

Prime Minister and HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday commented on models for buying back Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's stake in INA, saying that an initial public offering of 25% of the HEP power company's shares to obtain funds for INA's buyout was "the most efficient, fastest, simplest and cleanest option with the fewest participants, which enables the state, which is the owner (of HEP), to control the process in its entirety."

Iraqi forces advance in western Mosul amid fierce resistance from IS

Iraqi forces were making advances in western Mosul, entering a new neighbourhood north of the airport, amid fierce resistance from Islamic State militia, a security official said Saturday.

Mugabe says he will not step down as he celebrates 93rd birthday

President Robert Mugabe, the world's oldest head of state, marked his 93rd birthday with lavish celebrations in Zimbabwe on Saturday, despite a deepening economic crisis in the southern African country.

Poll: Majority of Greeks want new savings reforms to avoid elections

Over 60 per cent of Greeks are in favour of striking a new deal to unlock a fresh bailout from creditors as an alternative to snap polls, according to a survey commissioned by the To Vima newspaper.

Man commits suicide in protest at high-profile temple raid

A male devotee of a controversial Thai temple under siege by the authorities committed suicide late Saturday in protest at the junta's ongoing occupation of the temple complex, local media reported.

Investor Warren Buffett increases profit by 15 per cent

Profits at business magnate Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm shot up by 15 per cent in the last three months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, the company announced on Saturday.