April 19. 2024. 7:42

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Czech farmers continue to protest, remaining peaceful


Czech farmers drove 3,000 pieces of machinery to the country’s borders with Slovakia, Poland and Germany, while other farmers staged protests in major towns on Thursday, which the government said remained peaceful.

Several thousand Czech farmers attended the protests in major towns, the Czech Agrarian Chamber said.

Commenting on the protests, Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný (Christian Democrats) said he appreciated the peaceful protests and told the media he agreed with some of the farmers’ concerns about red tape or excessive controls.

He also commented on the farmers’ opposition to the EU Green Deal in its current form, reiterating that the objectives of the Commission’s flagship programme must be realistic.

“I am glad that it was made clear that Czech farmers realise that this deal is absolutely essential and crucial for us to maintain the quality of Czech arable land and our environment,” he said.

Commenting on the EU’s duty-free trade regime with Ukrainian farmers, the minister stressed the need to continue to support the war-torn country economically while ensuring that Ukrainian products are subject to the same conditions as EU products so that Czech farmers, for example, do not lose competitiveness.

As for proposals to improve the situation in Czech agriculture, including not taxing farm subsidies, Výborný said the coalition was discussing them.

Hundreds of Czech farmers drove their tractors into the centre of Prague on Monday, disrupting traffic in front of the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, the protest was used by anti-system and pro-Russian forces to promote their goals, one of which is the government’s resignation. Major agricultural associations, which organised Thursday’s events, distanced themselves from Monday’s action.

(Ondřej Plevák | Euractiv.cz)

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