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Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir: take action against radicals

Photo: Olivier Hoslet / EPA

Green Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has called on farmers' associations to take stronger action against radical forces during protests.

“Unfortunately, the protests are also being hijacked by people who have nothing to do with the issue,” Özdemir told the Berlin “Tagesspiegel”.

We have to “fight back,” but the farmers’ organizations also have to help.

In order to overcome the conflicts between agriculture and politics, Özdemir called for calm discussions.

We need to sit down together again in a normal tone and solve the problems sensibly, "without shouting at each other."

Farmers and politicians alike must accept each other's arguments.

There is currently particular controversy over the planned gradual reduction in subsidies for agricultural diesel.

Escalation in Biberach

In Biberach, Baden-Württemberg, violent protesters prevented a Green Party event in the town hall on Ash Wednesday.

Özdemir sharply criticized the fact that police and security officers were also attacked: "This is a breach of a taboo: because they are not protecting the Greens, but a functionary," he said.

Although he had a good conversation with farmers' representatives in Biberach, "no one is interested because of these pictures in front of the town hall."

On Saturday, Özdemir was closely accompanied by security forces during a trade fair visit in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance.

A protest with about a dozen participants remained peaceful.

Özdemir said it was unfortunate that so many police officers had to accompany his visit.

He showed understanding for the local protests.