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Soaked in Milk
Riot police are soaked as European milk producers dump milk on the European ParliamentReuters
1,000 tractors to Brussels
The two-day "1,000 tractors to Brussels" demonstration was organised by the European Milk Board (EMB)Reuters
Milky policeman
A riot police is seen covered in milk during a demonstration in BrusselsReuters
Milk on Parliament
European milk producers dump milk on the European ParliamentReuters
Tractors' line
A cyclist rides past tractors parked on a main road in central BrusselsReuters
Milk cannon
Policemen stand in front of the European Parliament milk is sprayed on themReuters
Traffic disruption
Tractors block a main road in central Brussels during a protest by European milk producersReuters
Hay on fire
Milk producers set up a fire during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in BrusselsReuters
A tractor blocks the entrance of the European Commission's agriculture office. The sign reads "No future without farmers".Reuters

Dairy farmers used tractors to block the entrance of the European Commission's agriculture office in Brussels during a second day of protests against falling milk prices.

Thousands of protesters from all over Europe converged on the Belgian capital on hundreds of tractors as part of the two-day "1,000 tractors to Brussels" demonstration organised by the European Milk Board (EMB).

Farmers sprayed fresh milk at the European Parliament building and at riot police.

Demonstrators set a trailer of hay on fire in Place du Luxembourg in the city's European Quarter and erected a mock gallows from which the dummy of a farmer was hanging.

"European milk producers are facing a dramatic situation. For too long milk prices have not covered the costs of production and thousands of milk producers [have] had to give up," the EMB, which represents dairy farmers from 14 countries, said.

Farmers warmed that if the EU phases out the subsidies system as planned by 2015, small land-holders will to be driven out of business.

Milk prices have dropped because of lower international demand and increased competition.

European producers have to sell milk at a price lower than the cost of production and are kept in business by EU subsidies and other forms of financial support.

In Belgium the wholesale price for a litre of milk is €0.26 (21p) but its production cost is €0.40, according to the EMB.

The EU is the world's larger milk producer but production is higher than consumption despite the introduction of an annual quota.

"It's very simple: you can't live off milk any more," French farmer Leopold Gruget said.

"If I go on, it's thanks to European aid. If they [phase out subsidies] there will be no more small and medium producers here in five years."