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Tractor blockade on the Oder bridge

Farmers in Poland have been protesting against EU agricultural policy and duty-free imports from Ukraine for weeks. Since yesterday they have also been blocking the border crossings into Germany – this time for several days.

Polish farmers have again blocked border crossings to Germany. They used tractors to block the motorway bridge between Swiecko in Poland and Frankfurt (Oder). The Gubinek border crossing, a little further south, is also closed due to the protests. Hundreds of Polish farmers have now gathered in the border area with their massive agricultural machinery.

“The blockade began on Sunday and will continue until Wednesday evening,” said a local police spokesman. Hundreds of tractors were already on the Polish A2 motorway towards Siwecko and Oder on Sunday morning. Mass protests by farmers across the country are also planned for Wednesday in Poland.

The protests lead to significant traffic restrictions. On the German side, traffic is diverted from the motorway before the border. A police spokesman said it was neither possible to enter nor leave via the motorway.

Up to 18,000 trucks travel on the route between Berlin and Warsaw every day. The demonstrators want to let medical staff and special transport through.

Dissatisfaction with EU agricultural policy and duty-free imports

With their action, the farmers want to protest against environmental regulations of the European Union. They also demand the reintroduction of tariffs on agricultural imports from Ukraine. Farmers there have been allowed to import their grain into the EU duty-free since 2022, which, according to Polish farmers, is driving down prices. According to the organizers of the protest, they therefore remained sitting on their grain.

A meeting between representatives of Polish farmers and Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk last Saturday failed to produce an agreement. The Polish Minister of Agriculture Czeslaw Siekierski wants to meet representatives of the industry for discussions on Tuesday. The EU Commission has proposed easing environmental regulations, which still needs to be discussed by the member states and the EU Parliament.

Repeated protests

This is not the first time that Polish farmers have called for this form of protest. They have been protesting for weeks, especially in the east of the country, where they are blocking border crossings with Ukraine. At the end of February, a border crossing in the west into Germany was blocked for the first time. At that time, farmers on the German side also protested at the Frankfurt (Oder) city bridge and at the Schwedt border crossing.

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