Yesterday some 10,000 farmers from across Germany with around 5,000 tractors protested against the government’s agriculture policies, bringing traffic to a standstill in central Berlin.
The protesters gathered at the city’s landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, demanding more planning security and saying they would no longer accept the current situation.
“Farming is the basis for everyone, whether you live in a big city, a small city, or in a village. The situation has become very drastic as far as rules go, also from politicians. We are no longer willing to accept this situation”- says protesting farmer, Matthias Schuebel.
On every bridge for the first 160 km there were people awaiting the tractors, waving and hanging banners in the support of the farmers.
“On every bridge across the highway between Schweinfurt from where we left up to Erfurt and Arnstadt, there were between 10 and 100 people on Sunday, barbecuing and hanging banners from the bridge. They waved and it was very emotional. We realised that we are supported by the public”- says prostesting farmer from Bavaria, Klaus( no last name given).
Many young farmers stated that they doubt whether it’s a good decision to follow in their parents footsteps and become farmers.
“The problem right now is that a lot of farmers see their future in danger. There are young farmers like myself who are thinking about whether or not to take over their parents’ farms. It’s very, very important to know what the future in farming looks like so we have certainty. If we invest now we need to know whether, for example, a new barn is still legal in its current form in five years”- says protesting farmer from north eastern Germany’s Uckermark region, Johanna Mandelkow.
The protests in Germany have been inspired by a farmers protests which started earlier this year in the Netherlands in reaction to the government’s plans to introduce legislation which would strike against farmers but, according to the government, is meant to mitigate the problems of environmental and climate change.