German Farmers Kick Off Massive Protests Against Policy That Could Threaten Their Livelihoods


German farmers began a week of protest against the government on Monday to push back against subsidy cuts that they say could put them out of business, according to The Associated Press.

Large convoys of trucks and tractors lined streets all over the country on Monday morning, including in the street leading to Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, as farmers are standing up to the liberal-green coalition government for its moves to phase out tax breaks for agricultural vehicles and diesel fuel, according to the AP. Farmers are enraged that the government is looking to eliminate the subsidies, a decision which they say would threaten their ability to remain in business.

The German government opted to eliminate the subsidies to help plug a 17 billion euro gap in the 2024 budget, according to the AP. Officials have since offered to amend their proposal to gradually phase the subsidies out by 2026, but the farmers are still strongly opposed to the decision. (RELATED: Country On Green Transition’s Leading Edge Will Fire Up Coal Plants To Meet Demand This Winter)

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), a conservative populist opposition party that has seen a surge in popularity as Germany’s economy has struggled, is supporting the protests, according to the AP. Meanwhile, the government is warning that the farmers’ protest movement may be co-opted and infiltrated by far-right wing elements.

The liberal-green governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, has seen its support fall precipitously since 2021, with a majority of polled Germans stating in December 2023 that they want a change in leadership and early elections, according to Bloomberg News.