Thousands of farmers from across Germany took to the streets of Berlin on Tuesday to protest the government’s agricultural policy with an estimated 8,600 tractors blocking traffic.
Organisers of the event claim that as many as 40,000 people took part in the demonstration, while Berlin police estimated the number of tractors, which caused a shut down to Berlin’s regular traffic, to be around 8,600, Der Tagesspiegel reports.
The purpose of the protest was to demonstrate against new agricultural policies introduced by the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which would see much stricter environmental rules imposed on the nation’s farmers.
Farmers Protest Discrimination from Eco-Warriors in Germany https://t.co/e7tZW7CPPc
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Farmer Frank Schmidt, who co-organised the demonstration, said that he and many other farmers are angry with the new policies, saying that he received as many as 3,000 messages of support in one WhatsApp group. He added that he is a member of around 150 such groups.
One of the chief concerns for the farmers is new regulations on fertiliser use pushed by the European Union in areas where nitrates have contaminated the groundwater. The rules will mean many farmers will have to fertilise at a rate of 20 per cent less than the current amount.
Farmer Schmidt added that German farmers are also seeing increased pressure from food retailers who are importing a growing amount of cheaper meat and produce from Eastern Europe and South America.
The farmer uprising began several months ago when in October, thousands of tractors blocked traffic in Hamburg and several other cities.
Incredible Pictures: Thousands of Tractors Shut Down Highways in Farmer’s Anti-Green Madness Protest https://t.co/87bv9vs5Yc
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While the protests are about costs of business, many of the younger farmers also reportedly see themselves being portrayed in a negative light by climate alarmists and said they feel urbanites view them as stupid and greedy.
During the protest, Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze attempted to speak to the crowd saying he “wants the farmers to be part of the solution”, but was rebuffed by the angry farmers who booed her off the stage just five minutes after she appeared.