According to the AP, German farmers gathered in Berlin on Monday to protest against planned cuts to climate change subsidies for diesel used in agriculture. It is part of a deal reached by the government to plug a hole in the country’s budget.
Leaders of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition agreed on measures to fill a 17 billion-euro ($18.5 billion) hole in next year’s budget by reducing climate-damaging subsidies and slightly reducing some ministries’ spending, among other measures.
They could probably reduce their big government, but they won’t.
This happened because Germany’s highest court annulled an earlier decision to repurpose 60 billion euros meant to cushion the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic for measures to help combat climate change and modernize the country. The maneuver fell foul of Germany’s strict, self-imposed limits on running up debt.
German farmers warned that it’s too much and they won’t tolerate it:
NOW – President of the German Farmers’ Association warns that if the government does not withdraw its measures “we will be everywhere from January 8, in a way that the country has never experienced before. We will not accept this.” pic.twitter.com/JgceSAfkr5
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) December 18, 2023
DW reports that German farmers are enraged at proposed diesel subsidy cuts and taxes directly affecting them. They say these could cost them up to €1 billion. The government says the cuts are needed to balance the country’s 2024 budget.
Farmers from across Germany descended upon Berlin on Monday. Hundreds of tractors converged on the city’s famous Brandenburg Gate. The motto on the gate, “Too much is too much!”
Green Party Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir was among those criticizing the government’s approach. He said farmers have “no alternative” to diesel, adding “farmers are the ones who supply us with food, these cuts overburden the sector.”
Farmers are now seeking to send a “first clear signal” to Berlin’s three-party governing coalition that it needs to drop the planned cuts.
Farmers’ Association President Joachim Rukwied said, “if not, there will be massive resistance from January. We will not put up with this.”
Habeck said anyone seeking to reverse cuts was obliged to present an acceptable means of financing them.
Draconian climate change tax burdens placed on fuel require subsidies.
Over 3000 German farmers in Berlin against the increase in fuel prices. They want agricultural diesel subsidies and vehicle tax exemptions to remain or the protests will continue unabated. pic.twitter.com/7m1XTZbP5Z
— RadioGenoa (@RadioGenoa) December 18, 2023
The farmers are dumping manure in the heart of Berlin.
Farmers in Germany dump manure in the heart of Berlin to protest against the rise in the price of agricultural diesel and the introduction of a new tax.
More than 1,500 tractors demonstrate in the city.
The German farmers are copying the French farmer protest tactics
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) December 18, 2023