A protest drive of tractors in Prague in mid-February? The Agrarian Chamber is not behind it

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A post is spreading massively on social networks, which allegedly draws from sources directly from the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic and talks about the fact that on Thursday, February 15, 2024, tractors and agricultural machinery from all over the Czech Republic will arrive in Prague. However, representatives of this professional organization said that they are not calling this protest. It is possible that a protest ride will take place, but it is not organized by the Agrarian Chamber.

Protest actions by farmers are taking place in a number of European countries, in the Czech Republic the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic is considering them, but is leaving the decision until March. The calls to action in mid-February did not come from her

| Photo: CTK

“FRIENDS, IMPORTANT NEWS FROM SOURCES DIRECTLY FROM THE CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE !!!!! CURRENT INFORMATION !!! PLEASE SHARE TO THE MAXIMUM OF GROUPS AND PROFILES. Tractors and agricultural machinery from all over the country will leave for Prague on Thursday, February 15, 2024. Permits to enter the city are already being processed. Farmers will carry various odorless substances with them to disperse them to the necessary places. AND NOW THE MAIN: THE FARMERS ARE CALLING EVERYONE TO SUPPORT THIS PROTEST, THEY WILL GO TO PROTEST FOR ALL THE PEOPLE, AGAINST THE EVIL OF THIS GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS AFFECTING MANY PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY, FOR THE RULE OF LAW, FOR ALL THE INJUSTICES THAT ARE SENT ON THE PEOPLE BY THE GOVERNMENT DAILY THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. THEY MESSAGE: we will not only go for our interests—-but for the whole country—just like it is happening in all the surrounding states !!!”

If Minister Marek Výborný does not consider the farmers’ demands by the end of February, they will take to the streets:

Minister Výborný received tasks from the farmers. If they don’t fulfill them, they will take to the streets

A post that sounds like this (language unedited, editor’s note) is currently spreading on Facebook, both through individuals and in various groups (for example, in the group We want immediate Demisi ODS, TOP 09, STAN, PIRATI, KDU-ČSL so finally leave 2.8 thousand members, to the group Citizens of the Czech Republic: “We want to leave the EU!!!” with 10.4 thousand members or in the group END GOVERNMENT MAFIA!!! with 2.7 thousand members – we do not edit the names of the groups either, note red .).

Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic however, he distances himself from it and, according to his representatives, is not planning a protest ride for mid-February.

Chamber: Protest possibly only in March

The Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic, which brings together the majority of entrepreneurs in agriculture, forestry and food industry in the Czech Republic, commented on the mentioned post for the first time on January 29, 2024 on the X network (formerly Twitter), stating that it is not planning any protests in mid-February.

“The leadership of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic has decided to postpone the national elections agricultural protests until 1 March 2024. Until this date Marek Excellent (minister of agriculture, editor’s note) promised to submit a proposal to solve the problems of the agrarian sector. The previous individual actions of farmers were not and are not consulted with the leadership of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic,” the chamber said.

In the press statement that the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic published on its website a day later, i.e. on January 30, this institution further states that if the Minister does not present the promised proposed solution by the beginning of March, the Chamber will really call on farmers to go on protest rides or other manifestations of dissatisfaction with in order to draw attention to their problems.

In the statement, she defined three basic areas of problems that she sees; namely low prices of agricultural commoditiesmoving in a number of cases below the European average, further allegedly new rules that increase production costs, and the fact that, according to the chamber, the government has not yet come up with a plan to support the agricultural sector that would really help farmers.

Flags, banners, horns on. A protest ride of more than a hundred tractors and other agricultural equipment passed through Chomutovskogo:

Stop messing with us. Farmers in Chomutovska undertook a protest ride

“The announced individual actions of farmers so far were not and are not consulted with the management Agrarian Chambers of the Czech Republic and we learned about them mostly through the media or social networks. In the long term, we are calling for a fundamental change in the subsidy system in the European Union and the setting of fairer conditions for all farmers. The Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic has therefore initiated steps to prepare coordinated protests across Europe on the authority of the management. We will inform the public about the form of the protests in time, just as we did during the protest actions in 2022,” the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic stated at the end of its statement.

“We have nothing to do with it either”

Hana Dufková, director of MAS Sdružení Západní Krušnohoří and administrator of the public Facebook group Protestní jízda, which was established on January 12 this year, i.e. three days before the first protest ride of Czech farmers in Chomutovská, also distanced herself from the spreading post.

Diary against fake news.Diary against fake news.Source: DiaryThis ride, according to its organizers, was intended to support the protesting German farmers and express dissatisfaction with the direction of Czech agriculture. During this protest, roughly a hundred agricultural machines left Březno near Chomutov in the direction of Hořa sv. Šebestiána on the border with Germany and then returned through the municipalities of the region.

Farmers have been receiving the same amount of money for their production for decades, but their costs are skyrocketing, says the president of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic:

President of the Agrarian Chamber Jan Doležal

Head of the Agrarian Chamber Doležal: Reducing subsidies to farmers would mean a big risk

However, according to Dufková, the organizers of this protest have nothing to do with the currently circulated call and distance themselves from it. When asked by Deník if and when they are preparing their own next protest, Dufková said that she could not give a specific date yet, as it had not yet been set.

“We are also members of the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic. If someone organizes something during February, it goes outside the chamber. We have nothing to do with it and we don’t want to. The fact that someone claims that this was confirmed by a source directly from the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic is, in my opinion, nonsense and a lie,” said Dufková.

Protests across Europe

But the fact remains that the protests of farmers throughout Europe, including the Czech Republic, are getting stronger. In recent years, large-scale protest actions have taken place not only in Germany, but also in the Netherlands, France and Belgium, demonstrations have not been avoided even in Spain or even Ireland. Farmers are particularly rebelling against higher payments for environmental pollution, which, according to their statements, mean an additional and already excessive burden for them after the energy crisis and the pandemic.

The government package will harm agricultural businesses and, secondarily, may cause food prices to rise, say some farmers:

Agricultural land tax will make domestic food more expensive, warns the Agricultural Union

Higher agricultural land tax? Domestic food will become more expensive, farmers warn

Protesting farmers also have an impact on political life. In the Netherlands, a new rural political party, the Farmers and Citizens Movement, was formed in 2019 based on protest actions, which won the provincial elections last March, winning 137 of the total number of 572 representatives in the provincial councils. However, she finished sixth in the parliamentary elections in November.


The article is in Czech

Tags: protest drive tractors Prague midFebruary Agrarian Chamber

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