Polish Farmers Stage Massive Road Blockades Over Trade and Climate Policies

World | Author: Diana Kavardzhikova |March 20, 2024, Wednesday // 13:52
Bulgaria: Polish Farmers Stage Massive Road Blockades Over Trade and Climate Policies

In a display of discontent, Polish farmers initiated over 500 road blockades on Wednesday, protesting against the influx of cheap food imports from Ukraine and challenging the European Union's climate policy, Reuters reported. 

Footage captured by private broadcaster TVN24 depicted farmers draped in Polish flags, rallying in the southern city of Katowice as they obstructed roads while distributing apples to bystanders. One protester vocalized their frustration, questioning why their high-quality products fail to grace local shelves.

The agricultural sector in Poland, along with counterparts across the European Union, has been vocal in its demands for revisions to the constraints imposed by the EU's Green Deal, aimed at combating climate change. Additionally, they advocate for the reinstatement of customs duties on agricultural imports from neighboring Ukraine, which were waived following Russia's invasion.

Complaints resonate among Polish farmers who accuse their Ukrainian counterparts of saturating EU markets with low-cost imports, rendering them unable to compete effectively.

Recent developments within the European Union have only heightened tensions. A provisional agreement has been reached, extending tariff-free access to Ukrainian food producers until June 2025, albeit with revised constraints on grain imports.

Moreover, the European Commission, in response to mounting pressure, proposed easing regulations concerning land use and crop rotation, offering concessions to farmers.

Polish authorities are on high alert, acknowledging over 580 planned protests with an anticipated participation of 70,000 individuals. Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Siekierski disclosed ongoing negotiations with farmers, emphasizing the intensity of dialogue despite the absence of concrete resolutions.

"We are talking. The dialogue is in an intense phase", Siekierski conveyed to private radio RMF FM.

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Tags: farmers, Poland, protest, food

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