Tension rises as the tractor protest in Rome comes to a head. The Agricultural Redemption movement first launches a real “ultimatum” to the government, with the request for a meeting with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and with the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida. And then, surprisingly, he cancels the demonstration called for Friday in the center of the capital. “It is believed to bring only one delegation of 10 tractors in San Giovannias a symbol of the protest” communicated the movement in the afternoon, motivating the decision by not wanting to “further undermine the great support received up to now from all the citizens who have already been supporting and inciting the farmers’ resistance for many days, despite the many inconveniences on Italian roads”. Then, after a new meeting in the Prefecture, the spokesmen talk about a procession with four tractors in the city center with a possible stop in front of the Colosseum and of the possibility – on which they are waiting for a green light from the police headquarters – to then parade their vehicles along the ring road in the evening.
And it cannot be ruled out, at this point, that no tractor will reach Piazza San Giovanni. In short, nothing has been decided yet and there is a lot of confusion among the farmers themselves who, however, in confirming that they do not want to cause inconvenience to the city, explain the real reason for the cancellation: “it seems there is an opening” on the part of the government for a technical table with the prime minister and the minister. So better to wait. “Our objective is not the demonstration – they say not by chance – but that our points are addressed seriously”. The announcement to give up the sit-in in Piazza San Giovanni comes a few hours after the “ultimatum” given to the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida to arrange a face-to-face meeting. “If he doesn’t respond by Saturday at 12, our tractors will go free for the city” said Andrea Papa, one of the leaders of the movement born a few weeks ago and who has been creating a collection point for vehicles on Nomentana for days.
The response from the interested party was not long in coming. “I have already met the farmers’ delegations” and “we are meeting associations” says the minister from Berlin. “I don’t have the problem of meeting when I think they are good people”, I have met “many delegations, or individuals or groups” he specifies, recalling that there is an “archipelago of situations”, but that “there are some who are evidently used as testimonials of positions that have little to do with representation”. Meanwhile, the tug of war over participation in the Festival continues. “If we cannot get on the Ariston stage, we will be forced to concentrate on Sanremo, starting from tomorrow, all the tractors of the Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria garrisons” say the farmers, rejecting the hypothesis of a statement read in direct. But that of agricultural redemption is not the only soul of the protest and the divisions are evident. The mobilization of the ‘Cra Agricoltori Traditi’ started today led by the former pitchfork Danilo Calvani.
From dawn the six garrisons around the city began to fill in anticipation of a demonstration in the second half of next week. “On the first day, around 300 tractors reached the gates of the capital – estimates Calvani – we expect thousands of vehicles for our great event”. At the collection points, tricolor flags and signs reading: “You are taking away our dignity” and “No farmers, no food”. And the majority is also creaking on the exemption from agricultural Irpef. There is no shortage of sparks between the Lega and FdI after the postponement of the amendment to the Milleproroghe which was expected today. “We believe it was a mistake for the government to cancel the exemption for 2024” thunders the leader of the League in the Chamber Riccardo Molinari. The reply from FdI group leader Tommaso Foti arrives shortly: “It does not appear that any reservations were ever made during the examination and approval” of the maneuver by majority groups. I therefore see no reason to assign blame to the government “. The Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti added water to the fire by assuring: “The intervention regarding the Irpef exemption for agricultural entrepreneurs who need effective support, possibly providing for specific exemptions, is currently being evaluated”.
Giorgetti, we evaluate Irpef exemption for the agricultural sector
“Without prejudice to the interventions already adopted and previously mentioned, as well as all other facilitative measures in force for the agricultural sector, the intervention regarding the Irpef exemption for agricultural entrepreneurs who need effective support, possibly providing specific exemptions, is currently being evaluated”. The Minister of Economy said it Giancarlo Giorgetti responding in question time to the Senate. “This measure, therefore, could be included in the first useful regulatory vehicle – which could also be the Milleproroghe law decree currently being examined by the Chamber”.
Agricultural ransom, ‘If we don’t go on stage we’ll block Sanremo’
“If we are unable to go on stage at the Ariston, we will be forced to concentrate on Sanremo, starting from tomorrow, all the tractors of the garrisons of Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, who are already organizing themselves to potentially reach Sanremo by tomorrow or Saturday morning”. This was underlined by Riscattoagricoltura in a note. “Until today we have demonstrated a high sense of responsibility, which however has not been repaid as no one has contacted us so far”, adds the movement.
Video Farmers, the owner of the Ercolina cow: ‘He wants to go on stage’
The seven tractors that arrived in Sanremo at dawn, coming from Melegnano, stopped near the flower market, and left escorted by the police towards the center.
“Four of our kids should be able to go on stage at the Ariston”, said one of the spokespersons for ‘Riscatto agricultural’, speaking of the possibility that a group of young farmers, who arrived at dawn with tractors from Melegnano to Sanremo, would be invited to speak from the stage of the Sanremo festival. “A document could also be prepared”, he concluded.
Meanwhile, the announcement arrived during the 12pm press conference: the tractor protest will find space on Friday at the Festival with a statement read by Amadeus.
Video The tractors in Sanremo, seven vehicles from Melegnano
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