Farmers have staged demonstrations to express their anger about low prices for produce, rising costs, cheap imports and constraints imposed by the European Union's drive to fight climate change, demanding action by authorities.

The protests have eased in France and Germany for now but appear to be growing in intensity in countries such as Spain and Italy, where groups of farmers have congregated outside Rome with their tractors.

The government appears set to partially restore an income tax break which had been dropped in the budget law for 2024, accepting one of the farmers' key requests.

"A measure aimed at providing tax exemption for those agricultural entrepreneurs who need effective support .... is being studied," Parliament Minister Luca Ciriani told the lower house of parliament.

"It is clear that the main priority for this government in managing public resources is to use them to support the weakest," added Ciriani, a member of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party.

He said the tax breaks could be included in a government decree currently being examined in parliament.

Farming is a sensitive sector for Meloni's right-wing administration. Coldiretti, the main agricultural lobby group, has a close relation with the government but the current protests are being led by a number of individual associations.

Meloni on Wednesday said her government had already done much to protect Italian farmers from European policies seen as harmful.

"The government defended the agricultural sector from some choices that we felt were too ideological", she told an event.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

By Angelo Amante