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Protest sweeps Berlin over government’s plans to end diesel subsidy

farmers in Berlin protest

Farmers in European countries are protesting. Thousands of Farmers in Germany have hit the roads of Berlin in protest over tax rises and subsidy cuts.

Thousands of German farmers, truck drivers, and agricultural workers converged at the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin, wielding tractors and heavy machinery to protest the government’s proposal to eliminate tax incentives for diesel fuel.

According to CNN, which reported the news, Police approximated that over 3,000 tractors had already assembled for the demonstration on Monday, with an additional 2,000 expected to join, marking the culmination of a week of protests.

Extensive road closures have occurred in cities spanning from east to west, encompassing Hamburg, Cologne, Bremen, Nuremberg, and Munich. Images depict processions of tractors and trucks adorned with protest banners obstructing German roads from the early hours of the morning.

Also, beyond urban centres, demonstrators have directed their attention to Germany’s high-speed motorways, causing significant disruptions to the normal flow of traffic.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner spoke to a large gathering of protesting farmers, expressing that additional subsidies were not feasible due to budget constraints. Addressing the crowd near the Brandenburg Gate, he said, “I cannot commit to providing more state aid from the federal budget.”

“But we can fight together for you to enjoy more freedom and respect for your work.”

In recent weeks, farmers in Germany have disrupted traffic by obstructing highway entrances, conveying their discontent with the concessions the government has previously granted. Following a court ruling that significantly impacted the government’s budget, prompting the need for savings within Scholz’s coalition, Berlin revealed intentions to reduce subsidies and tax breaks for diesel and agricultural vehicles. Despite some backtracking on these plans, the government justified the cuts by highlighting the growth in farmers’ incomes over the past few years.

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