South Africa

Polish farmers keep German border crossing blocked

AFP 20240226 34KA74Y v1 HighRes PolandGermanyProtest

Polish farmers blocked a major highway into Germany on Monday, carrying their protest against EU regulations and “uncontrolled” Ukrainian grain imports into its second day.

The farmers began their blockade on Sunday, parking their tractors on the A2 motorway near Slubice in western Poland, close to the border with Germany.

ALSO READ: Angry farmers stage Germany-wide tractor blockades

“We farmers from Poland are here because we are no longer accepting the EU Green Deal regulation,” Christopher Janicki told AFP at the protest.

“We also do not accept the uncontrolled import of grain from outside of the EU,” Janicki said.

Farmers across Europe have been protesting for weeks over what they say are excessively restrictive environmental rules, competition from cheap imports from outside the European Union and low incomes.

Demonstrations in Poland have responded in particular to inflows of cheap grain into Poland from Ukraine, where exports via the Black Sea have been disrupted by the war with Russia.

“Farmers in Poland have their warehouses full and cannot get rid of their goods” because of lower-priced imports, Janicki said.

“If we can’t sell grain, we can’t make any money, we can’t continue production.”

Protestors also said they were targeting the EU’s so-called Green Deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, an effort which they say has put an unfair burden on farmers.

ALSO READ: Polish truckers block Ukraine border points in protest

“We stand in solidarity not only with protesters from Poland, but also with protesters from Germany, France, Spain and every other country where the protests take place,” organiser Dariusz Wrobel told AFP.

The protest at the German border, which began at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) on Sunday, was set to end after 24 hours at the same time on Monday.

The farmers initially planned a 25-day blockade but reduced it following talks with local representatives and businesses.

© Agence France-Presse