Farmers across Europe are NOT happy - and who can blame them?

Farmers in Germany are staging nationwide protests.

Farmers in Germany are staging nationwide protests.

Michael  Heaver

By Michael Heaver

Published: 08/01/2024

- 16:06

Large demonstrations are now taking place across the continent as farmers urge politicians to listen

Farmers across Europe are not happy. And who can blame them?

The excesses of the green agenda saw an overwhelming backlash in the Netherlands, with farmers also having protested recently in Poland and Germany as well.

Dutch farmers came out in big numbers over recent years against radical plans to cut nitrogen emissions to meet - you guessed it - green EU targets.

That included plans to actually buy up and shut down farms that the authorities deem to be peak polluters.

It seems the Dutch Government wanted to push ahead with plans to shut down some 3,000 farms to meet EU gas emission targets.

In response, farmers held protests and the impact was felt at the ballot box, where the Farmer Citizen Movement went from practically nowhere to storming to victory in the provincial elections held in March. They picked up 16 seats in the Dutch Senate, the most of any party in a house that only has 75 seats overall.

This year has seen farmers out protesting as well. Polish farmers actually blockaded a Ukraine border crossing before reaching an agreement with the new Government.

Their fury was focused on a perceived failure by politicians to protect the Polish industry from Ukrainian grain imports, as well as demands on taxes and subsidies for the industry.

Whilst that stand-off now seems to have been cleared for now, the largest ongoing dispute is in Germany.

Today has seen big protests from German farmers who have blockaded major roads, infuriated by the government's plan to cut agricultural subsidies.

The protests, taking place right across Germany today, have reportedly included banners reading "no farmers, no food, no future".

These nationwide blocks of roads with tractors are likely to have a major impact in German politics, where an unpopular three-party coalition is struggling to sort out the country's finances, with the economy on course for recession.

It all underlines a tumultuous time in agriculture for farmers right across Europe - and the serious questions they are now posing to elected politicians in each country.

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