Roadblocks by German farmers  Frankfurt Airport Feb. 3

On Saturday, as demonstrations over prices and bureaucracy extended across Europe, farmers in Germany obstructed highways surrounding the country’s main airport.

After Friday’s passage of a fuel subsidy decrease by the German parliament, hundreds of tractors blocked the streets leading to Frankfurt Airport in protest.

In reaction to a domestic financial crisis, the government of Olaf Scholz announced plans to reduce about one billion euros in agricultural subsidies, prompting German farmers to stage large-scale protests.

As a result of the massive demonstrations, Berlin had to back down from its original plan to impose a road charge on agricultural vehicles, among other concessions.

When the subsidy cuts are fully undone, the German farmers’ union will end its protests, according to its signals.

Farmers in Germany joined similar protests around Europe, blocking highways in an effort to draw attention to what they perceive as unfair competition from outside the group and overly stringent environmental regulations imposed by the European Union.

According to a government website, three roads were delayed on Friday due to farmers blocking border crossings on the Dutch-Belgian border. In the meanwhile, on February 9th, a Polish farmers’ union announced that they will begin blocking border crossings to Ukraine.

“The lack of action by the Polish government pertaining to the import of Ukrainian agricultural products and food items forces us to announce a nationwide strike,” stated the Solidarity union, which represents farmers.

On the heels of their demands for a reduction in EU regulation and faster compensation payouts for individuals impacted by the flooding and wildfires that ravaged sections of the nation this summer, farmers in Greece have blocked roadways in the north and center of the country.

After farmers and hauliers in Romania blocked streets for weeks, officials decided to boost fuel subsidies.

After successfully negotiating with the government over gasoline taxes, pesticides, and other environmental concerns, French farmers disassembled roadblocks they had erected on highways leading to Paris.

The French minister of agriculture, Marc Fesneau, told CNEWS TV that while the worst of the crisis has passed, there are still difficulties to be addressed.

Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal have all had protests recently as well.

Protesters gathered outside of Thursday’s European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, with hundreds of tractors, and set fire to tires as a symbol of their discontent.

European Union leaders wasted no time in responding, pledging to protect EU farmers from cheaper imports from Ukraine and compromising on environmentally sensitive fallow land.Officials have issued a warning that, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on February 3, they intend to implement road closures in response to protests; these restrictions may continue until the late afternoon. The following roads will likely be most affected by the delays and closures:

  • Federal Highway 43
  • Federal Highway 44
  • Airport ring road
  • A5

Airport officials have warned that beginning early on February 3, the demonstration would cause major traffic delays near FRA. They urged passengers to take public transportation if they can, or to give themselves extra time to drive to the airport. Throughout the day, the area surrounding the airport may see transportation delays and heightened security measures. It’s possible that angry drivers or police officers may get into skirmishes with protesters.

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