Tensions rose this week between Poland and Ukraine as the Polish farmer blockade of the border escalated.

As well as increasing the number of border crossings blocked, on Tuesday, Polish farmers opened railway carriages to let Ukrainian grain spill out.

In response, Ukrainian politicians called on the European Commission to take action.

Ukrainian hauliers have now started their own protest at three border crossings, with the demonstration planned to last until mid-March.

Polish farming organisations and farmers affiliated with the workers’ union Solidarity have been blockading the border in recent weeks.

This is over high levels of agri-food imports from Ukraine since import quotas and tariffs from the war-torn country were removed.

At the beginning of the month, Solidarity voted to blockade “all border crossings between Poland and Ukraine, along with blockades of roads and motorways”.

Meanwhile, farmer protests continue in many countries across Europe, including at home in Ireland.

On Tuesday, Greek farmers held their largest protest this year so far, as they drove tractors into central Athens, outside the parliament.

It is estimated that 8,000 farmers were in attendance.

Greek farmers are protesting over high energy prices and production costs, as well as the need for more compensation for natural disasters, tax-free agricultural diesel and protection from foreign competition.

Farmers in the Czech Republic joined the European protests on Monday, bringing a tractorcade through central Prague to the agriculture ministry.

However, the country’s main farming organisations have distanced themselves from this protest action.


Last weekend, protesting Italian farmers parked their tractors at several key monuments in Rome, including the Circus Maximus and the Piazza del Campidoglio.

A group from Italy’s tractor protest movement, Agricultural Redemption, were invited to mass in the Vatican on Sunday by Pope Francis, along with their symbolic cow Ercolina II.

The issues over which Italian farmers are protesting are similar to those in other countries across the European Union bloc; rising costs of production, low-income margins and the restrictions being placed on them by EU climate change measures.


Welsh farmers also protested in recent days over a government proposal to replace EU subsidies with an environmental scheme that would require farmers to plant 10% of their land with trees and set a further 10% aside for nature.

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Farmer protests sweep across Europe