More than 5,000 Italian farmers demonstrated on the Italian/Austrian border on Thursday (18th April) against the rising cost of meat.
More than 5,000 Italian farmers demonstrated on the Italian/Austrian border on Thursday (18th April) against the rising cost of meat. The demonstration led to clashes with Austrian police and blocked road and rail traffic across the border for seven hours.
The farmers - mostly from central and northern Italy - arrived at the border in a convoy of coaches.
They claimed Austria - along with West Germany - was flooding the European Economic Community (EEC) with cheap meat. They said their livelihoods were threatened because they could not produce meat at competitive prices.
The farmers broke up timber boxes to build a number of barricades across the main road and the railway line connection Italy and Austria. They then set fire to the barricades. Cars on the Austrian side were banked up for miles and train services both ways were stopped.
Austrian border police at first tried to break up the demonstration. But after scuffles broke out, riot police were called in.
The farmers achieved their aim - at least temporarily - when West German authorities stopped all cattle cargo trains bound for Italy for two days.