The president of the farmers' association, Joachim Rukwied, defended the farmers' planned week of action against the plans of the traffic light government. "The dissatisfaction is more than justified. We have had severe periods of poor income for many years," said Rukwied to the "Tagesspiegel" about the situation on the farms. Last year brought a breather for many companies, but Rukwied expects earnings to fall again in the current financial year.
"For example, the milk price per liter, which peaked at 60 cents, has now fallen back to around 40 cents. Wheat prices, which previously reached up to 400 euros per ton, have also fallen again to around 220 euros," said Rukwied. "The price of pork is now also falling. On the other hand, labor costs are rising. The high energy costs are also contributing."
The Federal Ministry of the Interior has warned against attempts by extreme forces to abuse farmers' protests against planned subsidy cuts. A spokesman for Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said that it can be assumed that actors from the right-wing extremist spectrum as well as those who want to delegitimize the state will try to exploit events for their own interests during the week of protests.
During the planned week of action there will be demonstrations by farmers with their tractors in all federal states, and daily demonstrations are also planned. “There will be a lot of discussions with MPs, and on January 15th there will be a big rally in Berlin, for the second time in a few weeks,” said Rukwied. Shortly before Christmas, thousands of farmers came to Berlin with tractors to protest.
Farmers' associations are planning traffic blockades
On Monday, the state farmers' associations are relying on traffic blockades, similar to the usual climate activists. Some cities in Germany are warning of greater restrictions on road traffic on Monday.
The Hamburg police, for example, are expecting 250 to 300 tractors coming from Schleswig-Holstein to cross the state border at three points on Monday morning and drive to a final rally in the city center. Since the assembly authority is constantly receiving more registrations, significant disruptions must be expected throughout the city and on alternative routes, it said.
An overview of the previously announced promotions:
Farmers in northwest Brandenburg want to use tractors to block access roads to Autobahn 24, which connects Hamburg with Berlin, from Monday morning. According to the state farmers' association, protests are also planned at supermarkets and gas stations. The Ministry of Education expects that students may not be able to get to class on time due to the road blockages. Teachers should therefore prepare distance learning.
For the action week, the state farmers' association in Saxony is working together with the Land Creates Connection association and the family farms Land and Forest in Saxony and Thuringia. Actions such as car parades, a demonstration at the Elbe bridge in Torgau and protests at motorway entrances are planned for Monday. There will be a big rally in Dresden on Wednesday.
The farmers in Lower Saxony want to set off on a rally in Bremen on Monday. Around 1,000 farmers with their tractors are expected.
The farmers' and winegrowers' association wants to hold demonstrations and rallies in all 14 districts on Monday. The association expects up to 5,000 participants. At least 1,000 farmers with tractors are expected at the final rally on Monday evening in Koblenz.
According to its own information, the Association for Agriculture Connects (LSV) wants to block motorway entrances in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate together with freight forwarders. They then want to set off on a demonstration drive across several highways. The organizers expect around 3,000 vehicles. Final approvals are still pending.
A central rally with farmers from all parts of the country is scheduled for Wednesday in Mainz. On Saturday evening (January 13th) more than a hundred vigils are planned in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, farmers want to paralyze traffic at intersections and driveways across the country on Monday. There will be larger gatherings in Cologne, Bonn, east of Dortmund and Münster. Several hundred tractors are expected here. The responsible police departments are warning of traffic problems across the country after a large number of registered tractor protests. These can last all day Monday and affect both rush hour traffic and students.
According to information from the State Farmers' Association on Thursday morning, there will be protests at more than 50 motorway entrances, but at the same time only on every other one for two hours with a subsequent change so that traffic can flow at the free junctions. The time slot given was Monday morning, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, the association is still coordinating the actions internally in detail.
The “Entrepreneur Uprising MV” initiative has registered car parades in several cities, for example in Neubrandenburg, Rostock, Güstrow, Wismar and Schwerin. According to the responsible district, protests have also been registered in Stralsund.
The state farmers' association announced that there will be three days of demonstrations across the country. Slow-moving convoys will cause traffic disruptions. Blockades are not planned. According to the farmers' association, the protests are scheduled to begin on Monday in the south of Schleswig-Holstein. Column trips are planned in the districts of Dithmarschen, Steinburg, Pinneberg, Segeberg, Stormarn and in the Duchy of Lauenburg. Actions are planned for Wednesday in Flensburg, Ostholstein, Stormarn, the Duchy of Lauenburg and Lübeck. At the end of Friday, farmers from the Plön and Rendsburg-Eckernförde districts want to go to Kiel for a rally.
The Hamburg police are expecting significant traffic disruptions throughout the city on Monday due to farmers' tractor demonstrations against the federal government's austerity measures. According to the registrants' plans, 250 to 300 tractors will cross the state border in Langenhorn, Rahlstedt and Bergedorf on Monday morning from Schleswig-Holstein and drive to a final rally in downtown Hamburg, as the police announced. Since the assembly authority is constantly receiving more registrations, significant disruptions must be expected throughout the city and on alternative routes, it said. "In this respect, the police ask, if possible, to use public rail-based transport."
There were protests by farmers in Bavaria on Thursday evening. Some municipalities fear major consequences for the week of action, for example through blocking motorway entrances.
Other sectors in Bavaria also want to take part in the protests. Bakers, butchers and millers have announced their support for the opening demonstration on January 8th in Munich, said the Bavarian Crafts Day. The food tradesmen's protest is primarily directed against the renewed increase in VAT to 19 percent for food in restaurants as well as against the abolition of electricity and gas price caps, the increase in the CO2 tax and the new truck toll.
The farmers' association wants to ensure that the traffic light government completely withdraws its savings plans for agricultural subsidies. The adjustment to the plans agreed on Thursday is not enough for farmers. Specifically, tax breaks for agricultural diesel are to be abolished in several steps.