Farmers in Germany are in the midst of a week-long protest in response to subsidy cuts.

Roads across the country and central Berlin, alongside other cities, have been brought to a standstill by tractors.

The protests were sparked by the coalition government’s decision to cut green diesel subsidies and tax breaks for agricultural vehicles.

The federal government announced plans in December to save €900m in farming subsidies after a court ruling cancelled €60bn in debt that the government had anticipated receiving.

The government partially rowed back on these cuts last week.

Tax relief

The tax relief for agricultural vehicles will remain and the diesel subsidy will be phased out, as opposed to being cut immediately.

Deutscher Bauernverband, the German Farmers’ Association (DBV), is primarily organising the protests.

In a statement translated to English, DBV said the recent subsidy cuts were “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for German farmers.

“Not only does this place a disproportionate burden on one professional group, but our companies also had to bear sensitive cuts even before the agri-diesel [subsidy] abolition.

“For example, cuts in the agricultural budget amounting to €375m, restrictions on the sales tax flat rate with additional annual payment burdens amounting to €350m and the elimination of income-generating components in CAP funding in the order of €2bn,” the statement said.

German farmers are joined by train and truck drivers protesting this week.

A previous tractor protest took place in Berlin on 18 December.

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