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German farmers rally for government support

January 21, 2023

Thousands of farmers from across Germany converged in Berlin for an annual protest calling for more financial assistance and fairer taxes. The protest comes at the start of Berlin's International Green Week.

Tractors drive near the Victory Column in Berlin
German farmers gathered from across the country for their annual protest calling for more government supportImage: Christophe Gateau/dpa/picture alliance

Thousands of farmers gathered in Berlin for a protest marking the capital city's annual International Green Week, calling for more support from the government.

Protesters from all of Germany converged on some 55 tractors, driving to the iconic Brandenburg Gate on Saturday. Hundreds more gathered at the landmark, calling for cleaner and greener farming.

The protest was called for by an alliance of several organizations, including environmental associations and agriculture groups. The alliance is called "Wir haben es satt," which translates to "We're fed up."

Police estimated that around 7,000 individuals participated in the protest, while organizers put the number at 10,000.

What are the farmers calling for?

Protesting farmers called on the government to advance a faster and socially just agricultural turnaround.

Inka Lange, a spokeswoman for the alliance, said they particularly demanded an excess profits tax, a zero value-added tax (VAT) on fruit and vegetables, and a wealth tax for the super-rich. The alliance also called for more support for those with little money, fairer produce prices, as well as incentivizing climate-friendly agriculture with subsidies.

The farmers handed Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir a note demanding more support from him and the ruling coalition than they received the past year.

Berlin's annual International Green Week, a food and agricultural fair, started on Friday. It runs until January 29.

The Green Week conference has existed in some form in peace-time Germany for almost 100 years and returns in 2023 after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

rmt/sms (AFP, dpa)

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