Angry German farmers with tractors to Berlin

German farmers plan to demonstrate with their tractors in Berlin on Monday against the proposed abolition of free road tax and diesel rebates for agricultural vehicles. The farmers' association DBV announced a demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate. 

The first protests took place in several states on Friday and Saturday. German farmers blocked homes of state ministers and Green party offices in several cities on Friday.

The three German government parties have broadly agreed in recent weeks on an additional package of cuts, after the highest German judges had previously rejected the multi-year budget. With the cuts in the agricultural diesel subsidy (440 million) and withdrawal of the exemption from motor vehicle tax for tractors (485 million), the farmer-friendly subsidies worth around 900 million euros that have existed for many years are being abolished. 

DBV chairman Joachim Rukwied called on the SPD, the Greens and the FDP to withdraw the plans for cuts. Otherwise, agriculture has no future, he said. Rukwied called the withdrawal of benefits for farmers 'a declaration of war'. He received support from disapproving comments in various German states. There is also dissatisfaction in states where regional government leaders and ministers from the three ruling parties in Berlin are in power. 

Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) expressed his dissatisfaction with the new coverage proposal from Finance Minister Oscar Lindner (FDP). Many German farmers see the cuts as a broken promise. Previously, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality did not receive sufficient support in the tripartite cabinet for the modernization of agriculture and livestock farming, as proposed by the Borchert Commission.

Although the cutback model has been completed, final discussions cannot take place until January. The necessary meeting of the Budget Committee in the Bundestag is scheduled for January 18. In that case, the final approval of the budget, which must also be adopted by the Federal Council, could take until February.