German Farmers Also Protesting Against Eco-Tyranny

2024-01-23 12:00:48

I have been following the German farmer protests for the past few weeks.

The media and government officials are painting the protesters as fighters to end agricultural fuel subsidies and saying that they are being taken over by the “far-right.”

Neither narrative is true.

It turns out that the demonstrators are also targeting the green agenda, which has been thrust upon the German population and which has significant consequences for the agricultural industry. Furthermore, the participants have diverse political affiliations.

This conflict goes much deeper than a fight over taxes and subsidies. It is about farmers’ long-standing resentment of the green agenda that has been pursued by successive governments. This agenda now threatens the very future of German agriculture.

Indeed, the farmers first engaged in mass protest back in 2019, after Angela Merkel’s government demanded a 20 per cent reduction in the use of fertilisers and pesticides as part of its ‘agriculture reform package’. Merkel’s successors have only increased the pressure on farmers. Plans to further reduce fertiliser and pesticide use were announced last summer, with the government keen to meet the EU’s strict directives on nitrates. At the same time, the government announced it planned to tighten animal-husbandry regulations, entangling farmers in even more red tape and paperwork.

It is no exaggeration to say that the future of farming is at stake. In the space of just two decades, countless farms have already had to close. The number of farms in Germany during this period has almost halved – from nearly 450,000 in 2001 to 256,000 in 2022.

…[T]he government’s attempts to smear farmers as right-wing insurgents ring hollow. For a start, many do not actually support the AfD, as is so often claimed. In rural Bavaria, which is home to many of the protesters, 52 per cent of farmers voted for the conservative Christian Social Union (the sister party to the centre-right CDU) in the most recent elections, and 37 per cent voted for the populist Free Voters, which is led by a former farmer.

What’s more, the broader public is also turning against the government’s green agenda and is siding with the farmers.

Spiked website reporters interviewed a number of German protesters and released a video of their findings.

As one German farmer notes in the video (translated from German):

Greens are the worst that could happen to farming. People always think Greens will do good for the environment and for nature. But it is exactly the opposite.

In Germany, we have to set aside a certain portion of our land. But people still need food. It still has to be produced.

And, so, it is produced in Brazil instead..where the rainforest is then cut down. It just doesn’t get made here, where we have higher standards in production and processing and so on.

I am so old that I recall how the Dutch farmers shook-up their government in that nation’s elections. A deteriorating economy resulting from following green narratives rather than science and reason is likely to have the same result in Germany.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s leading right-wing populist party, has seen its popularity more than double since the Russian invasion commenced, according to polling data aggregated by Politico. About 80% of the German population is unsatisfied with the performance of the current coalition, and more than half of the country wants elections to occur before 2025, their currently scheduled date, according to Bloomberg News.

Farmers aren’t just protesting in Germany, either. Nationwide demonstrations by members of French agricultural entities are also being planned.

France’s largest farm union FNSEA is considering nationwide protests in the coming weeks, a spokesperson said on Friday, potentially expanding action by farmers in the southwest who have blocked a highway and dumped manure on public buildings.

Like their German counterparts who held a massive demonstration over the weekend with tractors rumbling towards Berlin from every corner of the country, French farmers are mainly protesting against taxes and regulation.

The FSNEA will decide whether to organise nationwide action next Thursday after meeting local branch representatives and different farm sectors, the spokesperson said.

Hundreds of tractors and farmers from across southwest France have been protesting in the southwestern city of Toulouse this week, causing traffic jams.

On Friday they blocked the highway linking Toulouse to the Atlantic cost with a wall of hay.

Farmers cite a government tax on tractor fuel, cheap imports, water storage issues, excessive restrictions and red tape among their grievances.

Perhaps a better and more realistic definition of “ecocide” really is the killing-off of farms through the use of green regulations. If so, as someone who enjoys eating, I am delighted to see a serious defense of agriculture and ranching begin.


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