Before the climax of their week of action on Monday in Berlin, farmers can count on great support from the population. 68 percent of those surveyed understand the actions that have been going on for days, according to a representative survey by the Elections Research Group for the ZDF “Politbarometer”. 30 percent said the protests went too far for them.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) also announced his presence at the big rally in Berlin on Monday. Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) distances himself from his predecessor.
Özdemir accuses his predecessors of failings
The majority of the population not only shows understanding for the farmers. In the survey published on Friday, 52 percent of those surveyed also spoke out against any cuts in the agricultural sector. The survey was carried out between January 9th and 11th among 1,337 people.
The farmers' protests are directed against planned subsidy cuts by the federal government. Accordingly, the tax relief for agricultural diesel should be gradually abolished. The fact that the government coalition has withdrawn part of its austerity plans is not enough for the German Farmers' Association.
Özdemir defended the federal government's plans. "Of course I know that the farmers say that that's not enough. But I don't think it's all about agricultural diesel," he said on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin".
The problem is that previous governments promised a lot and delivered little. “The cart is so deep in the mud, to put it figuratively, that we should all work together and not engage in party politics as much as my predecessor did before,” said Özdemir. Before Özdemir, CDU politician Julia Klöckner was responsible for the agriculture department.
Farmers' action week culminates on Monday - with Lindner
Farmers also took to the streets in many parts of the country on Friday, and in some cases there were blockades and traffic restrictions. According to the police, 5,000 protesters with around 2,500 tractors and agricultural machinery gathered in Nuremberg to demonstrate against the federal tax plans.
“These measures in Berlin have to go,” said CSU leader Markus Söder, who expressed solidarity with the farmers on site. “It’s not enough just to take away these measures; we actually also need an apology from the federal government,” said Söder.
Sahra Wagenknecht also took the same line. It is "outrageous that the farmers' impressive week of protest ends without the Chancellor correcting his serious mistake."
At the climax of the week of action, thousands of farmers are expected in the capital on Monday. Around 5,000 tractors and other agricultural machinery from all over Germany are expected to be on their way to the rally at the Brandenburg Gate, as the police headquarters in Potsdam announced. Finance Minister Lindner also wants to speak to them. On the sidelines of the event, the leaders of the traffic light factions also want to meet with the farmers' associations.
On Friday evening, the first farmers with their tractors gathered on the Straße des 17. Juni for the planned large-scale rally. Dozens of agricultural vehicles were already parked from the Brandenburg Gate to behind the Tiergarten Soviet Memorial.