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Farmers protest again with tractors in Berlin

In Berlin, more than 300 farmers from Brandenburg protested with 250 tractors in front of the traffic light coalition party headquarters against planned cuts in agricultural diesel. They want to hand over a list of demands to the three parties.

Brandenburg farmers demonstrated again in Berlin on Friday. According to the police, they drove around 250 tractors to the party headquarters of the traffic light parties SPD, Alliance90/The Greens and FDP. The number of participants was significantly higher than expected by the Brandenburg State Farmers' Association. According to the police, there were more than 300 farmers.

In front of the doors of the party headquarters, farmers wanted to hand over a note of protest against the cuts in agricultural diesel in the federal government's draft budget.

Tractors drive to a protest demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate towards the city center on January 15, 2024.  (Source: dpa/Sebastian Gollnow)

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Three routes to Berlin

For the protest demonstrations, the farmers drove several routes from Nauen, Rangsdorf and Hoppegarten to the center of the capital in the morning. The vice president of the state farmers' association, Heiko Terno, told rbb that it was necessary to continue the protests and keep up the pressure. The reduction in subsidies can still be prevented unbureaucratically. That would be a bigger hurdle later.

The protest was directed against the federal government's plan to gradually phase out the tax relief for agricultural diesel. In addition, the government parties were asked to devote more attention to agricultural issues overall, it said in a press release.

The Bundestag wants to vote on a corresponding law next week.

There have been protests nationwide for weeks. The traffic light coalition has already weakened the savings 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.

According to media reports, Chancellor Scholz wanted to talk to the farmers' association again about the plans on Friday. A meeting with association president Rukwied is planned in the Chancellery in the late afternoon.

“The last straw”

“The protests of the last few weeks have shown that the profession stands together and that a tipping point has been reached that was the last straw,” said Henrik Wendorff, President of the Brandenburg State Farmers’ Association, according to a statement on Friday.

Broadcast: rbb24 Abendschau, January 25, 2024, 7:30 p.m

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