Feb 14, 2024

Czech Farmers Threaten Prague Highway Blockade to Demand Green Deal Exit

In a planned protest blocking the Prague D1 highway on Monday, February 19th, Czech farmers aim to draw attention to their struggles and demand the Czech government’s withdrawal from the European Union’s Green Deal.

Up to 1,000 tractors and other agricultural equipment are expected to participate, adding their voice to similar actions across Europe amid rising costs and regulations.

While large industry organizations like the Agrarian Chamber and Agricultural Union are holding off on protests until negotiations with the government, organizers Bohumír Dufek and Zdeněk Jandejsek are calling for a strong show of force.

They predict 600 to 1,000 tractors arriving in Prague on Monday, converging from various points like Panenský Týnec, Lovosice, and the D1 on-ramp near Benešov.

The planned action promises significant traffic disruptions. At 6:00 AM, the machinery is expected to block the motorway in both directions for several kilometers, impacting not only the immediate area but also the broader Prague surroundings and potentially access routes from Central Bohemia Region. Public transport may also be affected.

Farmers’ grievances boil down to two main points:

Discontent with the Green Deal: Jandejsek calls the agreement a “harmful policy for people” and argues it disproportionately burdens Czech farmers, already facing the lowest EU subsidies and declining national support. They believe the Green Deal undermines self-sufficiency in basic commodities and demands greater investment in new farming methods.

Lack of communication: Dufek accuses Minister Výborný and Prime Minister Fiala of ignoring their concerns. While Výborný refutes this, claiming a recent pre-arranged meeting, the organizers maintain their demand for dialogue and action.

They point to ongoing protests in Germany and France as potential precursors to larger demonstrations if talks with the Czech government do not yield results. Dufek further claims a decision on future protest forms will be made on Monday evening.

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