Farmers’ protest in Warsaw. Appeal of the Minister of Agriculture

Luc Williams

Farmers’ protests have been going on for several days in Poland and Europe. On Monday, in the capital of Belgium, farmers blocked the European district with hundreds of tractors. Some protesters clashed with police. Farmers are scheduled to protest in Warsaw on Tuesday, which may cause disruptions in the city center as well as on some access roads. The demands of Polish farmers include: the need to simplify and limit the requirements of the Green Deal; reducing the inflow of agri-food products from Ukraine and improving the profitability of agricultural production.

“I am convinced that the protesting farmers will do everything to ensure that this protest, this assembly, does not constitute a significant inconvenience to the inhabitants of Warsaw. At the same time, I apologize to the residents of Warsaw for these inconveniences,” said Minister Siekierski on Program 1 of Polish Radio. He also appealed to farmers “to minimize the disruption of their protests as much as possible.”

When asked whether he would meet protesting farmers on Tuesday, he replied: “Probably yes.”

“I am constantly talking, even yesterday by phone when I was returning from Brussels, with many representatives of the protesting communities. I also talked to the protesters yesterday in Brussels. Mainly farmers from Belgium participated there, but there were also representatives from Spain, Italy, France and other countries” – handed over. He added that it was an international protest.

The minister said that during Monday’s Brussels meeting of the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture, a meeting with representatives of protesting farmers was held. Siekierski noted that the inflow of agricultural produce from Ukraine has made production unprofitable not only in Poland, but farmers in other EU countries are also starting to feel it.

“Some regulations should be introduced in the area of ​​trade between Ukraine and the European Union, especially with Poland. Poles, Poland, rural residents, farmers – we all helped Ukraine, Ukrainians and we want to continue to do so. But we must distinguish between humanitarian aid and military aid from matters related to economic conditions, from trade exchange, which must take place on rational, normal principles, consistent with the principles of the market and economics,” Siekierski said on Monday at a press conference in Brussels. In his opinion, farmers should be supported financially because they have incurred the costs of the Green Deal and opening up to imports from outside the EU through no fault of their own.

The minister admitted that the EC imposed too large, irrational and expensive requirements of the Green Deal, which were supposed to serve the environment and counteract climate change, but in fact led to the bankruptcy of many farms. “This does not mean that we should not act to defend the climate, it just needs to be done in a different way. (…) The EC must verify its plans,” Siekierski added.


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