German truckers, factory workers join farmers’ protest against incumbent left-cult government that’s trying to DESTROY FARMS and the food supply
By Belle Carter // Jan 21, 2024

The 18th-century neoclassical monument Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's most famous landmark, was flocked by tens of thousands of farmers and around 5,000 tractors and trucks on Jan. 15 as the protesters voiced their anger at the country's ruling government.

Truck drivers, factory workers and even firefighters cheered the rallyists, who objected to diesel prices and road toll increases. "In addition, we are fighting to maintain our existing subsidies," said one farmer, Hubertus Krupp, when asked why he attended the said gathering.

The dissent has been ongoing for a few days across the country because farm workers were also complaining about the proposed revocation of tax relief for agricultural workers. They are also protesting severe economic problems, collapsing budgets, runaway migration and energy prices as well as ongoing coalition disputes, which are brought about by the newly installed-into-power leftist government. Several bus and tram lines closed for the protest, which was patrolled by around 1,300 officers, the police said. (Related: Hundreds of German farmers set up disruptive road blockades to protest punitive taxes.)

Public support for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), the neoliberal Free Democrats and the environmentalist Greens coalition, compounded by the leadership of Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz has virtually collapsed in the past two years, with the biggest winner being the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has more than doubled its support. “The left-wing government is, of course, doing very well on gender propaganda, but when it comes to more serious issues such as industrial and energy policy, they are running out of ideas. Scholz's troubles were compounded by the complete collapse of the German budget following a Constitutional Court ruling in November," Remix's John Cody reported. "Even as the government asks farmers to make sacrifices, the chancellor and his ministers are pushing for three new luxury helicopters that will cost a total of €200 million."

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Scholz called for calm and a readiness to accept compromises last week amid the protests. He warned of extremists stoking rage against a backdrop of wider discontent. He said in a video message that they are "taking the farmers' arguments to heart" and insisted that his government came up with "a good compromise," though farmers continue to insist on fully reversing the subsidy cuts. He also said officials will discuss "what else we can do so that agriculture has a good future." However, the protesters disagree and have announced that they will continue their protest actions.

The three-party German government seemed to have been deflecting the attention away from its collapsing leadership. Cem Ozdemir, the Greens' agriculture minister, warned of "far-right figures" who want to see democracy rot away with their fantasies of overthrowing the government. Free Democrat Finance Minister Christian Lindner reminded the protesting farmers of their responsibility to society: "Turn back, you have lost your way!" Also, Saskia Esken, leader of SPD, called the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) opposition's criticism of the governing coalition's work "extremely dangerous."

Despite all the narrative, nearly 70 percent of the people said they support the farmers' protests in polls and two out of three Germans want early elections and a new government.

German Finance Minister to farmers: "There's no more money"

During the said protest, Lindner spoke on stage, telling the agriculture workers that there was no money for further subsidies. "I can't promise you more state aid from the federal budget," Lindner told the crowd. "But we can fight together for you to enjoy more freedom and respect for your work." He received massive voices of disapproval.

Lindner, describing himself as a lad from the countryside who had mucked out stables in his time, sought to win over farmers by contrasting their peaceful protest in Berlin to the behavior of climate activists who had sprayed paint on the Brandenburg Gate: "The symbol of German national unity." But he said scarce money was needed for long-neglected investments in schools and roads and for industrial energy subsidies. Jeers grew louder when Lindner said the money was needed because of the war in Ukraine. "With the war in Ukraine, peace and freedom in Europe are threatened once again, so we have to invest once again in our security as we used to," he said.

Facing a backlash, the government has already said it would maintain a tax rebate on new agricultural vehicles and spread the scrapping of the agricultural diesel subsidy over several years. But farmers, backed by the opposition conservatives and the far-right, say that it is not enough.

"I have respect for every politician who is prepared to come to us," said Farmers' Union head Joachim Rukwied, who at one moment had to take the microphone from Lindner and beg the crowd to stop jeering for long enough to listen to him. "The finance minister is here. It makes no sense to boo him."

According to Reuters, during a later meeting with protest leaders in parliament, coalition legislators promised, without giving details, to unveil proposals on Thursday that would lower costs to farmers while making their sector "sustainable."

Visit for more stories of uprisings and protests against left-wing administrations.

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