German farmers threaten to march again

Henry

German farmers threatened on Thursday to resume their protests next week if Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government continues to refuse to do away with their planned cuts to agricultural subsidies.

“If there is no change regarding the policy on diesel for agriculture, the next demonstrations and protest action will start next week,” said Joachim Rukwied, head of the German farmers’ association, on Thursday.

RNews earlier reported that more than 5,000 angry farmers took to Berlin’s streets on Monday with honking tractors and loudly shouted down a government minister about the German government’s plans to cut agricultural subsidies.

Similar disruptive protests have prompted the German government to partially hold back on cuts. Among other things, the government undertook to restore a discount on vehicle tax and to phase out a diesel subsidy over several years instead of immediately.

However, unhappy German farmers say this gesture is not enough.

“Everything that has been announced until now has only caused more irritation rather than calming things down,” Rukwied said on Thursday.

In a recent poll for the daily newspaper Bild 64% of Germans said that they would like to see a change of government.

Workers from various sectors, from metallurgy and transport to education, have protested in recent weeks amid struggling economic growth and rising prices.

Official data, meanwhile, shows the German economy shrank by 0.3 percent in 2023 as expensive energy, high interest rates and cooling foreign demand took their toll.

Since then, the German government has struggled to get cuts implemented.