Thousands of farmers clash with police in Brussels as EU agriculture ministers meet. As Sara Hemrajani reports, thousands are demanding more government support to cope with falling prices and Russia's ban on EU food imports.
Furious farmers on the streets of Brussels. There was gridlock in the Belgian capital as nearly 5000 farmers - with more than 1000 tractors - advanced on EU buildings. When the demonstration got heated, police responded with water cannon. The farmers say their livelihoods are at stake, with plummeting prices and Russia's ban on EU food imports pushing them to the brink of bankruptcy. SOUNDBITE: Marc Belot, Belgian farmer, saying (French): "The heart of the issue is the liberalisation of quotas, which brought about an overproduction, which has lowered prices making farming no longer viable." The protest took place as European agriculture ministers held an emergency meeting about the problem. One of the organising unions said it wants the European Commission to plug the shortfall. It seems officials were listening - an aid package worth more than $550 million is now in the pipeline for milk producers. And further measures from the meeting were expected.