EU News: Hundreds of tractors block German-Dutch border | World | New


Protesters demonstrated outside several public buildings with manure and slurry after politicians voted on proposals to cut emissions of harmful pollutants, a plan that could force farmers to reduce their herds or stop working altogether. Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government says nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions, produced by livestock, must be drastically reduced near natural areas, which are part of a network of protected habitats for endangered plants and wildlife that stretch across the EU.

Dutch farmers have turned out in their thousands to denounce their government’s policies on climate change to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Photos show thousands of trucks blocking the German-Dutch border.

Journalist Keean Bexte posted a video on Twitter, writing, “Farmers who learned from Canadian freedom protesters are currently blocking the border between the Netherlands and Germany with tractors to protest the climate change policies of the WEF of their government.

While others dumped hay bales on the roads and demonstrated outside town halls and some, some lit bonfires outside buildings.

But the protests turned violent when a group of farmers clashed with police stationed outside the home of Christianne van der Wal, the cabinet minister overseeing Dutch reforms to tackle pollution.

Several arrests were made.

READ MORE: GB News’ Wootton hits out at guest who questions Brexit success

Speaking about the protests, Mr. Rutte said: “Freedom of expression and the right to protest are vital elements of our democratic society, and I will always defend them.

“But it is not acceptable to create dangerous situations, it is not acceptable to intimidate officials, we will never accept that.”

Speaking from the NATO summit in Madrid, he added: “You can demonstrate, but in a civilized way.

“So don’t block highways, set off fireworks outside a minister’s house, and spread manure and… scare two kids and put families at risk.”

The government plans to reduce pollutant emissions, mainly nitrogen oxide and ammonia, by 50% nationwide by 2030.

They say it’s an “inevitable transition” to improving air, land and water quality.

Farmers have been warned that they must adapt or face the prospect of closing their business.

The government statement admitted: “The honest message is that not all farmers can continue in business.”

But Dutch farmers say the farming industry in the Netherlands is punished compared to other EU countries.

At a protest earlier this week, a group of farmers from a Dutch Natura 2000 region near the German border raised flags and a “Welcome to Germany” sign.


Comments are closed.