German farmers are fighting the green elites

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‘You get the feeling that farmers are not wanted in Germany. They want to abolish us’, says Katrin. She’s a young German farmer who, along with her family, 30,000 other people and 5,000 tractors, descended on Berlin on Monday, capping off a week of nationwide demonstrations that blocked roads, brought life to a standstill and reminded the German political class why it’s best not to get on the wrong side of people who operate large machinery.

The spark for the protests was government plans to abolish tax breaks on agricultural diesel and introduce new taxes on farm vehicles, which would cost farmers, on average, €4,000 each per year. But walking along the columns of tractors parked up between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column on Monday – where many farmers had been camped out for days; drinking beer, barbecuing sausages and huddling around fires – it’s clearly so much deeper than that. As Katrin puts it: ‘More and more is being taken away from farmers. We’ve had enough.’

Hannah Timmermann, an organic farmer from just outside Hamburg, spells out the catastrophic impact years of bad government policy has had on German agriculture. ‘I’m not sure if it’s the actual number now, but more or less 10 farms per day die because of the sum of many, many bad decisions’, she says. The stat checks out. According to German government figures, 10 farms per day went bust over the past decade. ‘My farm, my family farm for 10 generations, we are in danger of not existing anymore, of extinction’, she adds.

So, what’s been driving this apparent act of national self-harm? According to the farmers, it’s a combination of how out-of-touch the Berlin and Brussels elites are from farming communities – meaning they are blissfully unaware of how mad and unworkable their highfalutin policies are – and the ideology that fuels said highfalutin policies. Namely, environmentalism. Regulations on pesticides and fertilisers have become ever tighter, slashing crop yields in the process. Meanwhile, huge swathes of agricultural land have been put aside for solar – an unreliable energy source at the best of times, but particularly nonsensical in the hardly sun-drenched Germany. ‘Greens are the worst thing that could happen to agriculture’, says Katrin’s father.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!