German farmers, trucker block roads to protest diesel tax

German farmers and truckers blocked major highways and roads Monday in protest of the government's plan to abolish tax breaks that were set in place to help farmers with the cost of diesel for the vehicles they use in agriculture.

Last month, Chancellor Olaf Scholz proposed the discontinuation of the car tax exemptions for farming vehicles and diesel tax breaks as part of a package to fill a 17 billion euro (18.6 billion) gap in the 2024 budget, AP News reports.

Amid backlash, the German government Thursday said they would retain the car tax exemption and stagger the diesel tax breaks over three years.

This however was unsatisfactory to the farmers, who have relied on the diesel tax breaks to remain profitable and insist the plan be fully reversed. The German Farmers' Association declared it would protest in response with a "week of action" beginning Monday.

Dutch political activist Eva Vlaardingerbroek traveled to Berlin to cover the protest and stand in solidarity with German farmers.



The farmers used tractors and trucks to block entry roads to "the most used highway in Germany" and even Europe, as one protester stated.



Citizens who were affected by traffic due to the blockages stated that they fully supported the protesters.



The farmers were even successful in preventing Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck from disembarking a ferry when he was returning from a personal trip to an island.

The chairman of the farmers association, Joachim Rukwied, stated to RBB Inforadio Monday that the revised Thursday proposal from the government was "absolutely insufficient. We can’t carry this additional tax burden."



Even Elon Musk has spoken out about his support for the protesters.



 

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