The farmers revolt


A whiff of revolution hangs in the air in Germany.

Last week, the protest marches of organized agriculture began. In numerous cities, demonstrations, streets and ramps to thoroughfares were blocked by tractors and in front of the offices of the Green Party, which also represents the minister of agriculture, loads of manure were unloaded in places. In the capital Berlin was the great urban boulevard Strasse des 17. Juni full parking lot with giant tractors as part of a protest against the government.

The farmers have been dissatisfied for a long time and have already launched similar protests in 2020, still in the government of Angela Merkel. However, Merkel ignored it in her characteristic way at the time and the onset of Covid-19 made all gatherings impossible in any case and the protests were thus smothered.

Now the farmers are back with opinion.

The new wave of protests is specifically directed against a measure by the government to abolish the subsidies on tractor diesel in order to beat their budget. The farmers, already among the people with the longest working hours and, compared to factories and banks, low incomes, feel that they are being abused as eternal cash cows and have to pay for the government’s incompetence to get their finances in order.

The background is the sensational judgment of the constitutional court last year which prevents the government from using the unused Covid-19 emergency fund for their climate fund. In this way, a budget deficit of 60 billion euros arose and it was decided to burden the already heavy shoulders even further, i.e. to take away the grants – this while social grants are skyrocketing.

However, the farmers enjoy wide support in the population and where the tractors pull up, they are waved at and given a “thumbs up”.

Other industries, such as the transport contractors, which are also struggling under the government’s economic policy of high power rates, high taxes and bureaucratic red tape, support the farmers. It has long been no longer just about the farmers – for the ordinary citizen, the farmers are just the vanguard of a wider movement that is simply tired of the government’s incompetence, on the one hand, and their prescriptiveness and know-how, on the other. . Especially the urban, green-voting elite is the focus of this disapproval.

A foretaste of the French yellow jacket protests can be detected. The Germans are actually said to be good citizens and do not simply revolt, compared to the hot-blooded southern Europeans who protest and strike over everything. A train drivers’ strike is also currently taking place.

The government has meanwhile announced that it will phase in the abolition of subsidies first gradually in the hope of quelling the protests. However, it’s too little too late and doesn’t change the underlying problem anyway. They do what they do best, which is to put any anti-government protest in the far right corner, to pit citizens against citizens and to divide them into “good” and “bad” protesters.

Alas, it works less and less and according to polls two thirds of the population are already dissatisfied with the government and demand an early election. Later this year, three important regional elections will take place which are seen as a chance to deal with the government.