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Germany: the protest spreads like wildfire

In addition to farmers, workers and teachers in the streets against Scholz's austerity

The German farmers' protest has reached its climax. Today brought to Berlin around 3000 tractors, 2000 trucks, for a total of around 10 thousand people (8500 according to the police. The news reports hundreds of demonstrators positioned in front of the Brandenburg Gate, braving the biting cold , with the help of beer and mulled wine, in a riot of German flags. The avenue close to the most representative place of the capital was filled so much that it induced the police (deployed with at least 1300 officers) to direct the demonstrators towards the Olympic stadium, located in West Berlin.

It is now clear that Chancellor Olaf Scholz 's partial backtracking does not satisfy the demonstrators at all. However, the government's strategy at the moment is that of dialogue and negotiation, also out of fear that the protest could be supported by extremist fringes. A suspicion also supported by the plummeting polls for the majority parties, while the right-wing forces find themselves with the wind at their backs: the AfD is in fact between 21% and 23%, with peaks of 30% in the eastern areas of the country, the most economically depressed. "We have taken the farmers' arguments into account and revised our proposals. A good compromise," Scholz said in a podcast on Saturday.

However, there is no real common line in the government on how to respond to farmers' requests. Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir (Greens) suggests compensation for farmers, while some Social Democrats hope for higher production prices. Finally, the Liberals hope for a decisive cut in spending. The truly relevant implication, however, is another: from the primary sector, the protest is spreading to other categories. One above all: the train drivers, whose strike has literally paralyzed public transport. "Our industry has also had enough," said Dirk Engelhardt , spokesman for the board of directors of the Federal Association for Road Transport Logistics and Waste Disposal (BGL). Many metal workers and teachers also took to the streets against austerity.

The first confrontation in the square ended in stalemate. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) was present on behalf of the government. "Withdraw the tax increase proposals, then we will withdraw," said farmers' spokesman Joachim Rukwied , rejecting any form of compromise. Lindner himself remained in his positions, defending the planned cut in diesel subsidies and insisting on the need for a sacrifice on the part of farmers, to whom he promised, in exchange, bureaucratic simplification and greater entrepreneurial freedom.

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EFA News - European Food Agency