Hundreds of farmers demonstrated against the expiry of tax refunds for agricultural diesel with a protest drive around Frankfurt Airport. As a police spokesman said, the farmers headed towards the airport around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. Up to 2,000 tractors were announced, but initially significantly fewer arrived. Early on Saturday morning there were 500 to 600 tractors.
A protest trip around the site was planned. Police expected road closures until the afternoon. The airport operator Fraport asked people to travel to the airport by public transport or to allow more time for the journey by car. There were brief disruptions in the morning, but there was no major chaos, the police said.
The farmers did not choose Frankfurt Airport at random. The protest is no longer just about agricultural diesel, but about fair competition, said several of the participating farmers' associations. "What applies to aviation must also apply to us farmers: aviation fuel is still not taxed because it would put German aviation at a competitive disadvantage." Frankfurt Airport and the cargo area symbolize the integration of the German economy and agriculture into global supply chains and markets.
The traffic light coalition has already weakened its austerity plans for agriculture for the 2024 budget. The tax breaks for agricultural diesel should therefore not end all at once, but should be phased out gradually over the next few years. There have been nationwide protests by farmers against this for weeks. Furthermore, the demonstrations are also about, from the farmers' point of view, requirements that are too strict and excessive bureaucracy.
Police statement from Friday