German farmers block roads as officials say they've run out of money for tax breaks

German farmers continued to block the streets of Berlin Monday to protest the government's plan to abolish their diesel tax breaks as Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced there was no more money for subsidies.

He stood on a stage at Brandenburg Gate in front of around 10,000 frustrated farmers, Reuters reports, who have long relied on the tax breaks set in place to help them with the cost of diesel for the vehicles they use in agriculture.

"I can't promise you more state aid from the federal budget," Lindner, who had grown up mucking out stables at a farm himself, said. "But we can fight together for you to enjoy more freedom and respect for your work."

He then stated the money was not available due to higher priority needs because of the Ukraine war.

"With the war in Ukraine, peace and freedom in Europe are threatened once again, so we have to invest once again in our security as we used to," he said.

This angered the farmers even further who had to be told to stop booing at the minister by Farmers' Union head Joachim Rukwied.

"I have respect for every politician who is prepared to come to us," he stated. "The finance minister is here. It makes no sense to boo him."

The demonstrations by the farmers, which have brought Berlin to a near standstill, have put pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition to fix the issues in the 2024 budget which has a 17 billion euro (18.6 billion) gap.

The government offered last Thursday to phase out the abolishment of the tax break over several years, a solution that was not welcomed by the farmers.

Coalition legislatures have promised to reveal a proposal this Thursday that would lower general costs to farmers and keep the sector "sustainable" after meeting with protest leaders in parliament.

Polls have revealed that voters are now favoring the right-wing Alternative for Germany party over the current coalition parties as the protests from farmers intensify on top of train strikes that took place last week.

Image: Title: german protests


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