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HomeDeutschlandMore than 17,000 euros annually: Farmer praises Habeck-Mob, illustrates damages from traffic...

More than 17,000 euros annually: Farmer praises Habeck-Mob, illustrates damages from traffic light policy

Ina Oestreicher, 57, is a farmer in the small community of Abbendorf in the district of Prignitz. For decades, she and her husband Ulf have been lucratively practicing agriculture on 800 hectares of land nourished by both the Elbe and Havel rivers.

However, since the traffic light coalition has been governing the country, the family business has become increasingly at risk, says Oestreicher to the “Berliner Morgenpost”. Since then, there have only been demands and regulations coming from Berlin.

“The dissatisfaction is not only great among farmers,” says Oestreicher briefly. However, she can specifically illustrate how government claims and performances differ regarding German agriculture.

Currently, Oestreicher spends 350,000 euros annually on operating resources alone

In the fiscal year 2022/2023, which ran from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, her farm generated an operating profit of over 100,000 euros, says Oestreicher. However, that is “not much” because in 2021 they had about 40,000 euros more. In addition, operating costs have significantly increased.

New agrarian diesel regulation costs farm 17,000 euros annually

In general, costs in agriculture have been rising rapidly for years: Energy costs, but also, for example, fertilizer prices. Previously, they paid almost 240 euros for a ton of fertilizer. Now they pay around 600 euros for the same amount. This is related to the war in Ukraine, but the policies from Berlin exacerbate the situation rather than improving it.

The planned exemption from vehicle tax for agricultural vehicles by the traffic light coalition would have cost their farm “several thousand euros per year”. The gradual abolition of reimbursements for agrarian diesel, to which the traffic light coalition has committed, will cost their farm around 17,000 euros annually.”This is the last straw,” says Oestreicher. “We want this reimbursement not to be touched!”

Oestreich: “Just because one criticizes, doesn’t mean they are right-wing!”

The government must finally understand that claims should always go hand in hand with individual responsibility and performance, says Oestreicher to the “Berliner Morgenpost”. Anyone who demands healthy organic products in the interest of their voters must also create the legal basis for the providers of this claim to survive.

In this sense, she considers the recent blockade of the ferry, where Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck (Greens) was staying, “a good action”. She herself had already left the farmers’ association, which has orchestrated most of the current protest actions, a few years ago – because it had appeared as a sponsor at a Green Party congress. She did not want to support this “cozy policy” with politics.

However, she will actively support the protest against the traffic light policy as a member of the “Land schafft Verbindung” (LSV) association, even block roads. Although it bothers her that individual members of LSV are very far right, one must pragmatically kick out the individual affected rather than denigrating the entire interest group.

“Just because one criticizes”Expressing your opinion does not automatically make you right!”, stated Oestreich.

Diverse Objectives of Farmer Protests

According to political observers, the current farmer protests involve actors with varying objectives.

The majority of demonstrators are employed in German agriculture and are using the blockades to show dissatisfaction with the latest government legislation announcements, says conflict researcher Felix Anderl to “ZDF”. The primary focus of this group is on two government initiatives:

Firstly, the announced abolition of the vehicle tax exemption for agricultural vehicles. Since the start of the protests, the government has retracted the proposal. Secondly, the announced phasing out of agricultural diesel subsidies. Since the start of the protests, the government has modified its proposal and announced a gradual phasing out of reimbursements.

Another, smaller group of demonstrators are not really concerned about agriculture. Instead, they are “riding the wave of protest” and attempting to “push their agenda” during the protests. According to Anderl, a high number of actors from this small interest group were involved in the recent protest action against Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck.

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