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Friday, June 7, 2024

“This is not the Europe we want”: EU farmers are staging a last-ditch protest before the European Parliament elections

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“This is not the Europe we want”: EU farmers are staging a last-ditch protest before the European Parliament elections

On June 4, European farmers are bent on making themselves heard by the Brussels elites in the European Union (EU), with the Dutch Farmers Defense Force (FDF) urging for a protest in Brussels to defend their agricultural interests and lifestyles. Notably, the FDF was established in 2019 to resist the globalist Dutch government’s implementation of nitrate limits, provoking widespread farmer protests.

 

Event organizers are estimating that around 3,000 tractors would head for Brussels for the FDF protests. Moreover, prominent farming unions in France, the Netherlands, and Spain have already expressed their backing for the demonstrations.

As reported by The Brussels Times, dairy farmers from at least five EU countries are also planning on joining forces in order to lobby for “fair pay” under the motto “Fair income for farmers now”, in conjunction with the EU meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU.

This year has seen Brussels, the capital of the EU, becoming the target of numerous disgruntled farmers’ protests against the globalist alliance’s draconian Green Deal and cheap agricultural imports from countries like Ukraine. The so-called “Green Deal” enforces huge restrictions on farmers on the pretext of “public health”, such as stipulating the goal of halving the use of agricultural chemicals by 2030.

“For years, we have seen farmers' earnings fall short, forcing many to abandon their livelihoods,” Silvia Däberitz, General Manager of the non-profit European Milk Board, which is staging the protest, told The Brussels Times.

Däberitz pointed out farmers’ minuscule earnings have led to a fall in young people keen on joining the agricultural sector. Consequently, such a decrease has undermined food sovereignty and security within the EU.

This year has seen Brussels, the capital of the EU, becoming the target of numerous disgruntled farmers’ protests against the globalist alliance’s draconian Green Deal and cheap agricultural imports from countries like Ukraine. The so-called “Green Deal” enforces huge restrictions on farmers on the pretext of “public health”, such as stipulating the goal of halving the use of agricultural chemicals by 2030. On November 29 last year, MEPs on the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee passed the final text of the contentious Nature Restoration Law. Critics slammed the move, which attempts to reduce agriculture, for undermining the very existence of the agricultural industry itself.

In January this year, incensed French farmers put town name signs upside down to demonstrate against overreaching government regulations that were jeopardizing their livelihoods. Moreover, farmers barricaded the A64 motorway in France’s Occitania region, with the president of the FNSEA, France’s largest farming union, cautioning in February that if the government did not meet farmers’ demands, road blockages would continue. During the same month, Romanian truckers and farmers participated in street protests against exorbitant taxes, high diesel prices, meager compensation for Romanian products, and the influx of Ukrainian grain imports. Farmers and truckers impeded road traffic around Bucharest and other cities, as well as barricaded parts of the border with Ukraine.

Likewise, Italian farmers were making their anger heard by protests as well.

“Europe imposes rules on us that make no sense. We can no longer make a living. We want to make more money and have our products valued for what they are,” Luisito Naldi, one of the protest organizers in northern Italy, told the AFP news outlet in January.

Most likely out of fear that they would lose the upcoming EU elections in June, some leftist EU parties, such as the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) party, have sought to portray themselves (albeit feebly) as being on farmers’ side all along.

Similarly, Lithuanian farmers staged a protest against the EU’s Net Zero taxes on fuel and regulations that mandated them to turn uncultivated lands into permanent grasslands. According to news reports, farmers who do not rear livestock claimed that it was not economically wise to keep part of their land unused.

February also witnessed Czech farmers driving their tractors to Prague to resist the EU’s Green Deal and skyrocketing energy costs due to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

These demonstrators carried a letter with demands that they planned to present to Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny. Nonetheless, the Czech government has rebuffed claims that the protests were linked to agriculture, with Prime Minister Petr Fiala lambasting organizers for being “pro-Russian”, maintaining that the Czech government was in discussions with “those who represent farmers.”

As tractor convoys blockaded German cities in January, farmers’ association president Joachim Rukwied spelt out that they were protesting not just against the government’s proposed cuts in fuel subsidies, but against an EU-wide system where “agricultural policy is being made from an unworldly, urban bubble and against farming families and rural areas.”

In May, several Polish farmers staged a sit-down protest in the halls of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) to protest the impacts that lax tariffs on cheap Ukrainian agricultural imports and Brussels’ environmental regulations had on their livelihoods, particularly an EU move to suspend tariffs with Ukraine. Previously, Polish farmers blockaded the Polish-Ukrainian border to express discontent over what the Poles termed as unfair competition.

These aforementioned illustrations are just some of the numerous protests that have sprung up all over a continent increasing suffocated by top-down bureaucratic and globalist policies to reduce agricultural produce and snowballing energy prices due to economically suicidal climate goals and the West’s persistance in prolonging Ukraine’s conflict with Russia and maintaining anti-Russian economic sanctions.

62-year-old protesting Polish farmer Janusz Bialoskorski told the media in February:

“They’re talking about climate protection. But why should it be done at farmers’ expense?” Farmers, he pointed out, are not responsible for industrial pollution, and “nor do we fly to Davos on our jets.”

These aforementioned illustrations are just some of the numerous protests that have sprung up all over a continent increasing suffocated by top-down bureaucratic and globalist policies to reduce agricultural produce and snowballing energy prices due to economically suicidal climate goals and the West’s persistance in prolonging Ukraine’s conflict with Russia and maintaining anti-Russian economic sanctions.

In turn, however, rather than reflect on the failed impact of their “green” policies and support of Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions, many of the Brussels bureaucrats and their liberal media mouthpieces like Politico and the Financial Times (FT) have sought to dismiss these farmers as “far-right” elements of European society. Such intransigence depicts how disconnected the Brussels brahmins are from the ordinary European farmer and consumer, and the determination of these elites to shut down farmers’ demands by characterizing them as “extremist”.

Most likely out of fear that they would lose the upcoming EU elections in June, some leftist EU parties, such as the Socialists & Democrats (S&D) party, have sought to portray themselves (albeit feebly) as being on farmers’ side all along.

That being said, one can see through such a ruse by the Brussels elites as arguably a mere attempt to garner more votes for the EU elections. For one, On February 6, the European Commission released  its amended climate policy recommendations that called for even tougher CO2 reduction targets.

Regarding the plight of livestock farmers, Caroline Van der Plas of the populist farmers’ party (BBB) rejoiced that the new Dutch coalition will not proceed with the present government’s policy of the forced culling of livestock to supposedly curtail methane emissions, and ditch the compulsory expropriation of farmland.

Additionally, leftist elements in the European Parliament, such as the Renew group, hitherto threatened to expel the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) Party, party of Dutch leader Mark Rutte for entering into a governing coalition with the conservative and nationalist Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV).

Regarding the plight of livestock farmers, Caroline Van der Plas of the populist farmers’ party (BBB) rejoiced that the new Dutch coalition will not proceed with the present government’s policy of the forced culling of livestock to supposedly curtail methane emissions, and ditch the compulsory expropriation of farmland.

Following revelations the successfully formed Dutch coalition government, the European Greens published a press release titled “A shocking betrayal of liberal and democratic values” in which they condemned “the decision of Liberals and Conservatives to collaborate with the Far Right [Geert Wilders’ PVV] in the new government of the Netherlands.”

Farmers are most likely watching the upcoming European Parliament elections with bated breath, for only if the top echelons of EU governance inch towards conservatism, can they expect their plight to be addressed.

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Last modified on Friday, June 7, 2024
Angeline Tan | Remnant Columnist, Singapore

Angeline is a Catholic writer who enjoys Catholic history and architecture. Her favorite saints include Saint Joseph, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, Saint Philomena and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of all Saints.