European Parliament Sprayed with Milk
Farmers used a platform to hose the European Parliament with milk. Photo by BBC
Angry farmers protesting at falling dairy prices in the EU have sprayed fresh milk at the European Parliament and riot police in Brussels.
Thousands of dairy farmers, accompanied by hundreds of tractors, descended on the Belgian capital on Monday for two days of demonstrations.
Disruption has continued, with EU officials hindered from reaching their offices by tractors blocking roads.
Farmers want an increase of up to 25% in their prices to cover costs.
EU milk is often sold at below production costs due to a drop in international demand and increased competition.
The European Milk Board (EMB), which is co-ordinating the protest, says small farmers are being forced out of business.
In Belgium, for example, the wholesale price for a litre of milk is 0.26 euros but the cost of producing it is 0.40 euros, the board said.
Dairy farmers in Shropshire, England, recently won a price increase to £0.29 (0.36 euros) per litre from a leading processor but reported that the cost of production was still £0.31 (0.38 euros).
The EU is the world's largest milk producer and in 2010 nearly 47% of its 123bn euro budget went on subsidies and other forms of financial aid for farmers, including dairy producers.
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