“Bombarded with costs”: What the federal government’s austerity measures mean – a farmer reports

In Germany, farmers and farmers are storming.

“Bombarded with costs”: What the federal government’s austerity measures mean – a farmer reports

In Germany, farmers and farmers are storming. The federal government wanted to cancel the exemption from vehicle tax for landscape vehicles, but canceled the plan. The subsidies for agricultural diesel are now to be gradually reduced. A success for the protesting farmers. But they are still horrified – and angry – across Germany. In their anger, some attacked the economics minister, who fled on a ferry towards Hallig Hooge.

Eckhard Clausen, a farmer from the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district, can only shake his head about the campaign. However, he also understands the anger of his colleagues. He himself is disappointed - with Habeck, Özdemir and the entire federal government. In the stern interview he explains what the federal government's austerity measures would mean for him.

Mr. Clausen, how many protests and blockades have you taken part in with your agricultural colleagues? This is off to a good start. We do not block, but stand up for our cause. Every now and then we stood on the street to draw attention to ourselves and our concerns. We don't see the reimbursement as a subsidy, but rather as partial relief because we don't use public roads like everyone else does.

You sound very upset. Is that also the general mood of the protests? Personally, I am extremely disappointed. Other professional colleagues are angry. I can understand the displeasure. We feel that the government no longer values ​​our profession. The fact that the refund was canceled and the announced vehicle tax levy was the last straw. We have repeatedly signaled in the past that we are prepared to compromise. I'm a democrat and that's why I'm drawing attention to our problems.

As a democratic farmer, what do you say about the incident in Schlüttsiel? I wasn't there and wouldn't have been there. Unfortunately, there are social groups that are radical and from which I also distance myself. I wasn't there myself and therefore can't judge the situation very well. But people acting aggressively is not acceptable. As far as I know, there were no violent attacks.

Do you think the protests so far have been successful? The actions have already achieved something. The fact that the vehicle tax is not coming and the refund is supposed to come gradually also shows that the plans were not yet fully developed and that the government is mindlessly trying to plug any holes.

No vehicle tax and a staggered increase in the price of agricultural diesel - what does that mean for you? I run a 500 hectare arable farm and need 60,000 liters of diesel for it. The state pays 21.5 cents per liter, which is almost 13,000 euros annually, which will soon no longer be paid. I can't switch to renewable energies because the market doesn't yet support it.

We are bombarded with costs that we cannot pass on. The fact that we now have to dig deeper into our pockets is really frustrating. Against this background, politicians must openly admit that they do not want agriculture in its current form.

Is there still support for you? Large parts of the population are behind us and we want it to stay that way. But we are also getting a lot of calls from citizens who are wondering how they should get from A to B during next week's protests. But most people understand that we take to the streets and draw attention to our concerns.

Note: In the first paragraph it was specified that the federal government wanted to delete the exemption from vehicle tax for landscape vehicles and did not want to introduce vehicle tax. It was also specified that subsidies for agricultural diesel will be gradually reduced, which is a success for farmers.

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