Protesting farmers block several border crossings with the Netherlands on Belgian territory during the night from Thursday to Friday. The border crossing of the A67 near Eersel, that of the A16 near Hazeldonk and that of the A4 near Markiezaat are closed on the Belgian side, Dutch and Belgian traffic services report.
Most activists come from Belgium, but a number of Dutch farmers have joined the protests in Eersel, says an ANP photographer on site.
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Near Eersel, around 11:30 p.m., more than fifty tractors drove from a parking lot just across the border onto the E34, the Belgian part of the A67. They have lit fires along the road and in speeches call for the blockade to continue for a few days.
From Bergeijk, Dutch tractors with farmers drove to the border crossing to join the Belgians. According to the initiator, there are about 30 to 35 Dutch people who sympathize with the Belgian farmers.
Traffic to and from Antwerp interrupted
Traffic to and from Antwerp is particularly affected by the blockages, Wijnand Zwaan of the ANWB told BNR this morning. “There are three important highways closed to and from Belgium,” says Zwaan. ‘It concerns the A4, between Antwerp and Rotterdam in both directions. The E19/A16, between Antwerp and Breda, is also closed. And the A67, from the Belgian border to Eindhoven.’ The first traffic jams were already there just before seven o’clock.
Zwaan mentions three alternative routes, although this requires a major detour. ‘There are alternatives to Antwerp. This concerns the Western Scheldt tunnel, the route via Maastricht or the A76 between Heerlen and Maasmechelen.’
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The ANWB and Rijkswaterstaat reported on their websites on Thursday evening that the A76 between the Belgian border and Geleen in Limburg was also partly closed in both directions, but around 1 a.m. traffic seems to continue as normal. The road is also open there, according to the Flemish Traffic Center.