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Tough and Feisty Mood at Farmers' Protests in Stuttgart

Most of the speakers onstage at the farmers’ protests on Jan. 30 in Stuttgart stated that there had been a lot of nice words from politicians so far, but they have not taken any concrete measures, and that therefore it was necessary to continue the demonstrations until something fundamental actually changed. The mood among the 3,000 farmers and tradespeople who had traveled to Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state capital on some 1,600 tractors and other farm vehicles was much more tense than during the nationwide week of action at the beginning of January. Throughout the morning, hardly any traffic was possible in Stuttgart, as the farmers had traveled early in the morning from towns and villages all over the state, some of them hundreds of kilometers, blocking highways and country roads with their convoys.

The farmers’ catalogue of demands has now become much more extensive and goes far beyond the original demand for the withdrawal of the agricultural diesel subsidy cuts. Above all, they are demanding equal treatment of imported goods with the high standards of German agricultural products, and also massive reduction in bureaucratic regulations and EU environmentalist requirements. The farmers, who described themselves as experts in landscape conservation, food production, and small and medium-sized businesses, were particularly outraged by what they saw as the German government’s disregard and incompetence, and they often vented their displeasure by interrupting the speeches of the state politicians who had dared to address the crowd.

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