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Czech farmers dump manure on Prague streets in renewed protests

WorldCzech farmers dump manure on Prague streets in renewed protests


Czech farmers dumped manure in front of government offices and blocked Prague streets with tractors on Thursday as they renewed their demands for more support, less bureaucracy and a halt to cheap imports to the European Union.

Farmers across the EU have taken to the streets this year, calling for the removal of restrictions placed on them by a Green Deal plan to tackle climate change and for customs duties on farm products from Ukraine to be reimposed.

On Wednesday, thousands of Polish farmers protested outside the prime minister’s office in Warsaw, burning tires and throwing firecrackers. Last month farmers in Brussels set tires alight outside an EU farm ministers’ meeting.

Czech farmers, in their third protest since mid-February, rolled into Prague early on Thursday, lining hundreds of tractors along a river road leading to the government offices and snarling traffic and some public transport.

Police said farmers dumped manure, leading to one arrest.

Farmers drive tractors in front of government office, where they dump manure, during a protest against European Union agricultural policies and grievances shared by farmers across Europe, in Prague, Czech Republic, March 7, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/EVA KORINKOVA)

Minister says government will not submit to pressure

Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny reiterated the government would not submit to pressure.

“I am ready to go and have a fair discussion with farmers,” Vyborny said in a post on the social network X.

“I expect an honest approach from the (protest) organizers who promised not to block traffic in Prague. I don’t [find] manure dumped on tram tracks to be such an approach.”

The Czech Agrarian Chamber has called for subsidies matching 2022 levels and programs to support employment in farming, along with a reduced property tax for farmland.

It also wants the government to help tackle a surplus in EU markets caused by cheap imports.

“The situation … is not good and is constantly getting worse,” the chamber’s president, Jan Dolezal, said ahead of the protests. “When the political will of the ruling coalition has been lacking for two years, we have to publicly ask for help.”







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