Thousands of farmers want to protest with tractor rides in numerous cities against the agricultural policy of the federal government. For the biggest demonstration in Bonn - mainly via Facebook and WhatsApp organized by the initiative "Land creates connection" - 8,000 to 10,000 farmers with around 800 tractors are expected. In the morning, the police reported in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Berlin and Hamburg numerous convoys including closed and disabled roads.
The anger of the farmers is directed against the plans of the Federal Government among other things for more nature and animal protection in the agriculture and for the protection of the groundwater against nitrate, which arrives approximately by over-fertilization into the soil. The current policy endangers family businesses, the protesters warned. In addition, "farmers bashing", that is about condescending statements about farmers, in many areas cause anger in the professional group.
Support receives "Land creates connection" of farmer president Joachim Rukwied. "It's just too much, what the policy the peasant families," he said the Passauer Neue Presse . In the light of the insect protection and fertilization legislation, the EU's free trade agreement with the South American Mercosur states, and increasing livestock farming requirements, farmers' disappointment over politics is "very high".
For Rukwied, the insect protection plans of Federal Ministers Svenja Schulze (SPD) and Julia Klöckner (CDU) - both ministers had presented the action plan together - "have brought the cascade to an end". More than two million hectares of land would be severely affected. Thus the federal government would give up the "cooperative nature protection".
Klöckner said in the ZDF morning magazine , "they have something to the farmers, changes, but I do not do that, I also support them financially with support measures". Farmers would often be dismissed as animal tormentors or polluters in the public debate, Klöckner said. That's wrong. Nevertheless, there are also expectations on the farmers, for example, in the cleanliness of groundwater and compliance with EU rules. Her cabinet colleague Schulze pointed to the "dramatic downward trend in the field birds," which so far could not be stopped. Therefore, "much more effort" is needed.
Criticism of Schulze's statements were made by the FDP member of parliament Karlheinz Busen. "Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze has a good talk when she calls for more insect protection from the farmers - they do not have to pay," said the agricultural politician. Instead of ruling against the farmers, Schulze urgently needed to talk to those affected. Otherwise, the mood in this country threatening to boil up as in the Netherlands, said Busen. There had also been violent protests from farmers there lately.
In France farmers are again demonstrating against strict conditions in front of the district offices of various départements. At the same time, several alliances have called for a rally for a greener agricultural policy in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.