Farmers from ten European Union countries join forces and tractors to protest agricultural policies

On Thursday, Czech farmers drove their tractors and other vehicles to multiple border crossings to join their colleagues from surrounding nations in protesting European Union agriculture policies, bureaucracy, and general economic conditions.

Farmers argue that the EU’s 27-nation environmental laws, such as the Green Deal, which calls for limits on chemical use and greenhouse gas emissions, constrain their operations and raise the cost of their products compared to non-EU imports.

Farmers often complain about poor prices for their products, claiming that grain and other agricultural items from Ukraine and Latin America are severely affecting the market.

At several border crossings, the farmers met with colleagues from neighboring Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. Farmers from ten EU nations, including Central Europe, the Baltics, and the Balkans, took part in the protest, organizers said.

The farmers urged Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny, his Slovak counterpart Richard Takac, and farmers from Poland and Hungary to rally at the Czech-Slovak border crossing known as Hodonin-Holic, which was blocked by hundreds of tractors.

“We do not protest the EU; we protest the European Commission’s wrong decisions,” stated Andrej Gajdos of the Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food.

Earlier Wednesday, Poland’s Foreign Ministry stated that radical groups were attempting to seize control of the protest movement, “perhaps under the influence of Russian agents.” It expressed “with the greatest concern the appearance of anti-Ukrainian slogans and slogans praising Vladimir Putin and the war he is waging.”

On Tuesday, a tractor at a rally in the southern Polish province of Silesia carried a Soviet flag and a sign reading “Putin, put things in order with Ukraine, Brussels, and our rulers.” The Gazeta Wyborcza daily published an image.

Interior Minister Marcin Kierwinski described the banner as “scandalous” and said it was promptly secured by police, with prosecutors investigating.

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