Skip to content

Powerful Protests by Farmers in Several Countries of Europe

In spite of a large-scale police deployment sealing the area off, yesterday, farmers succeeded in briefly entering the Rungis wholesale agricultural market in central Paris. Police arrested 79 farmers; tractors, however, stayed in front of the market, continuing their protest.

A ring of blockades also formed around the city of Lyon on Jan. 31. Meanwhile, farmers from Belgium and France blocked several border crossings between the two countries, reported La Voix du Nord daily. In Toulouse in the southwest, they attempted to block an organic market, but the police were able to prevent it. Farmers also attempted to block important access roads to Lyon, the third-largest city in France. In total, the French authorities recorded around 100 blockades.

In Germany, farmers have again blocked roads and highway entrances with tractors. One focus of the protests is Bavaria: The registered blockades of 80 highway ramps began Thursday morning, Feb. 1, according to the police. In addition to the farmers’ association, the local Landwirtschaft verbindet Bayern association had called for rallies. According to the association, the protests were announced and coordinated with the authorities and police. The blockades were to be lifted at regular intervals to allow vehicles to pass again. In the morning, highway access roads around Munich were closed. The A8, A9, A94, A95, A96, A99 and A 995 were affected.

Farmers also mobilized in other Federal states. They gathered with tractors for vigils on highway bridges and junctions in the vicinity of Neubrandenburg. In Saxony-Anhalt, tractors temporarily blocked several highway ramps.

In Schleswig-Holstein, during the night of Jan. 31, some 150 tractors and other vehicles blocked the access road to an Edeka central warehouse in Neumünster. In neighboring Nortorf (Rendsburg-Eckernförde district), tractors blocked the access road to an Aldi central warehouse, which broke up at around 3 o’clock.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, in the Trier area, there were already widespread restrictions and traffic jams in the morning rush-hour. In Mainz and Worms, farmers targeted the inland ports on the Rhine. According to the police, they blocked the access road to an industrial area at the port in Mainz-Mombach with some 40 tractors. Another 40 tractors had also gathered at the fairground near the port in Worms.

The protest was called by the “Landwirtschaft verbindet Rheinland-Pfalz” association, notto demonstrate against dock workers or freight forwarders, but to “draw attention to the anti-business policies from Berlin,” the association announced. New taxes, levies, and regulations are not only making life difficult for farmers, but also for small and medium-sized businesses, haulers, tradespeople, and other citizens, they explained.

Inland ports in particular are major transshipment points for market fruits from all over the world, not least from Ukraine. “We understand that agricultural exports are extremely important for Ukraine in particular and that they create added value,” explained the protest organizers. Nevertheless, it is important to draw attention to the fact that the environmental and social standards there cannot keep up with local German agriculture.