Thousands of farmers from southeastern Spain demonstrated in Madrid on Wednesday, calling on the government for help in the face of the "surreal" drought that is hitting them and threatening jobs in their area. Europe
The surroundings of Alicante, Murcia and Almeria, on the Spanish coast of the Levant, where fruit and vegetables are produced in all seasons for all of Europe, suffer particularly from drought. Spain is experiencing one of its worst droughts since the beginning of the 1980s.
"Without water in the Levant, desert and unemployment Let's defend Europe's kitchen garden", could be read on a banner in the parade. 19659002] "80% of the water was cut off", AFP José Antonio Diaz, manager of an agricultural company in the Almeria region, complains about the empty water supply in the area. four-fifths in the south-east of Spain, according to him.
He says he was able to grow only 15 to 20% of his usual production of salads and watermelons, a situation "surrealist."
Some farmers, he says, have even considered moving some of their production to southern France, around Montpellier, where water is more abundant.
"In 39 years, I have never known such a serious year, "says Pepe Rodriguez, a 59-year-old farmer from the Murcia region.
" What are we going to do with all immigrants there we have there? ", he wonders, worried about the jobs many families in his region live in, including many workers from Africa.
He wants the government to subsidize desalination of seawater, a very expensive technology for the time being, and put in place in the longer term a system of water transfer from the rivers of the north, wetter, to the south.
Reserves of water from the Jucar and Segura basins, the two main rivers draining southeast Spain, were 27.7% and 17.6% respectively, according to official data released on Tuesday.