The federal government has to make massive savings and originally wanted to make farmers responsible. For example, subsidies for agricultural diesel should be eliminated. But now the U-turn: the tax relief should not be completely abolished until 2026.
This is what the press says about the federal government giving in:
Of course, the traffic light parties and the responsible agriculture minister, Cem Özdemir, cannot pat each other on the back. What has now been decided could have been presented sooner if the austerity measures had been more decisive and considered. Özdemir was duped by the coalition leaders. This will have an impact on the industry. Even if he now boasts about the agreement.
The coalition members could have known what consequences the cuts would have for agriculture. If not, there are experts in the Ministry of Agriculture. As with the hasty implementation of the heating law that was not well crafted, the sentence “well-intentioned is the opposite of well-done” also applies to agricultural diesel.
If the SPD, Greens and FDP believe that they have appeased the farmers, that is the next misjudgment and another sign that the traffic light has not understood what the farmers are primarily concerned about: a commitment to regional food production. Farmers should use fewer pesticides, fertilize more sparingly and meet higher animal welfare requirements. That's easy to say, but it demands a lot from companies. The farmers therefore want to know what future they and their work have in Germany.
Farmers and train drivers are particularly happy to use seemingly apocalyptic threats to stir up fears of massive disruptions to the national economy. Too often, their officials, but also some politicians, allow themselves to be carried away on stage with populist phrases that give impetus to those who want to abolish the social market economy without offering democratic solutions. And too often they get away with the excuse afterwards that they didn't mean it.
“Märkische Oderzeitung” (Frankfurt/Oder):
In fact, this has less to do with insight into the plight of the farmers and more to do with technical errors. The reduction in subsidies for agricultural diesel would not have provided the savings contribution urgently needed for 2024 anyway, as it will only take effect next year. There is also no response to the plastic levy, the design of which is more complicated than expected. The Chancellor, Finance and Economics Ministers spent more than 200 hours discussing the austerity package, which is now just as slowly unraveling. The new year is starting as badly for the coalition as the old one ended.
The fact that the traffic light coalition now has to use the crowbar to get its budget in order doesn't just affect the farmers. But their uprising represents deep-seated discontent among the population about the government's unprofessional work. And so they enjoy great support among the population these days. This is precisely why farmers would do well not to become radicalized. It is good and important that the farmers' association clearly differentiates itself from those who despise democracy, conspiracy ideologues and angry citizens who are just lurking to further inflame the mood.
“Dithmarscher Landeszeitung” (Heide):
Be it an act of desperation in view of the survey results, political calculation, an offer of peace to farmers, an acceptance of criticism within the traffic light parties or the thought that perhaps they have made a mistake: the traffic light coalition's U-turn on the subsidy cuts for agriculture once again gives the impression that the three-party alliance is hopelessly overwhelmed by the current challenges and is once again trying to get out of it quickly. Because let's not kid ourselves: This shift is due to the massive farmers' protests, it is not the result of deliberate consideration in crisis meetings at night.