German truckers joined farmers for a week of protests over a government plan to scrap tax breaks on diesel used in agriculture in order to ‘combat climate change,’ after Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition announced plans last month to nix a car tax exemption for farming vehicles as well as diesel tax breaks.
Protesters in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin parked tractors and displayed signs such as ‘No farmer, no food, no future’.
The government announcement is part of a plan to try and fix a 17-billion-euro (US$18.6 billion) hole in Germany’s 2024 budget, AP reports.
Holy shít. German farmers and truckers are fed up and are now united against their government. This is Berlin right now:
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) January 8, 2024
On Thursday, the government walked back part of the plan, announcing that while the car tax exemption would remain, cuts in diesel tax breaks would be staggered over three years. This did not calm German farmers, whose Association demanded a full reversal, and said it would move forward with a “week of action” starting Monday, in which farmers used tractors to block entry roads to highways early in the day.
There was disruption due to convoys of tractors in and around some cities, too. Production at a Volkswagen auto plant in Emden in northwestern Germany was stopped because access roads were blocked, preventing employees from getting to work, German news agency dpa reported.
Among demonstrations across the country, several hundred tractors and other vehicles gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
The protests are under scrutiny after a group of farmers on Thursday prevented Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck from disembarking a ferry in a small North Sea port as he returned from a personal trip to an offshore island. -AP
And of course, authorities are warning that ‘far-right groups and others could try and capitalize on the protests. (Maybe Russia too!?).
Germany’s budgetary changes included the controversial cuts, which was ‘required’ after the country’s highest court annulled an earlier decision to redirect nearly US$66 billion originally meant to mitigate fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to combat climate change and modernize the country.
The truckers have joined the German farmers protest!
They are standing together.
SHARE – The media won't show you this 🚜🇩🇪🚛🇩🇪pic.twitter.com/jOVxG0r1Wy
— PeterSweden (@PeterSweden7) January 8, 2024
Cover image credit: H-tt
protesting farmers in Munich, Germany 2024-01-08
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