Things have been restless in surrounding countries for a number of weeks. For example in Belgium, where protesting farmers block roads. This is also the case at several border crossings with the Netherlands. For example, according to RTL Nieuws, the border crossing of the A67 near Eersel, that of the A16 near Hazeldonk and that of the A4 near Markiezaat on the Belgian side will be closed on Friday. Rijkswaterstaat therefore recommends postponing a trip to Belgium.
This does not mean that you cannot go to Belgium. There are various options for detours, but it is unclear to Rijkswaterstaat ‘how quickly the situation can change’. The organization does not know what the day will bring. Many of the activists at the border crossings come from Belgium, but there are also a number of Dutch farmers who have joined. The actions have been going on for days, because they say working as a farmer is no longer profitable. They specifically mention rising production costs, while sales prices remain the same. They also want to get rid of strict European environmental regulations.
“We are not here for fun, we are here because we want to stand up for our rights,” said one of the activists in the NOS Radio 1 Journaal. He indicates that the location at the border crossing is a strategic one, “and the nitrogen problem mainly occurs in Belgium and the Netherlands.” That does not mean that he does not find it annoying that road users are now suffering from the blockage, “but we have been suffering for three years, and no one is watching or listening to us.”
If you want to take a detour, you can do so in various ways. For example, you can drive on the A2 between Maastricht and Liège via Limburg. Or travel via the A67 between Stein and Maasmechelen and the Western Scheldt tunnel, the N62. Please take extra travel time into account. Traffic is likely to be stuck, especially from Belgium.
The moment was not chosen arbitrarily by the farmers. A European summit took place in Brussels, where government leaders met. According to NOS, outgoing Prime Minister Rutte, Belgian Prime Minister De Croo and European Commission President Von der Leyen spoke with various farmer representatives.