Farmers bring Poland to standstill — RT World News

Demonstrations were held across the country demanding an end to the influx of cheap Ukrainian products

Traffic in cities and towns across Poland was severely disrupted on Friday, as farmers staged protests against what they see as unfair competition from cheap Ukrainian products, as well as the European Union's green policies. Over the past few months, Polish agricultural workers have also repeatedly closed the border with Ukraine.

January saw similar demonstrations in other EU countries, including Germany, France and the Netherlands, over Brussels' climate policies that led to higher fuel prices. German farmers are demanding Chancellor Olaf Scholz cancel the proposed elimination of diesel subsidies worth up to 3,000 euros ($3,260) annually.

Authorities in neighboring France withdrew plans to cut similar subsidies after farmers closed a major highway near Paris last month.

Friday's protests, organized by the Solidarity workers' union, affected about 260 local areas across Poland, with thousands of farmers blocking or slowing traffic with tractors and other heavy machinery. They also closed several border crossings with Ukraine.

Local police reported that many highways leading to the capital, Warsaw, were congested as a result of the demonstration.

In a statement issued before last week's protest, Solidarity said it planned to hold roadblocks until March 10. The union called on the Polish government to accept the European Union's guidelines on… “Import of agricultural products and food products from Ukraine.” The demonstrators also demanded the position adopted by Brussels at the recent European Union summit “unacceptable.”

Similar marches were held across Poland in January.

A separate protest by another group of farmers and truckers who closed a major border crossing with Ukraine led Prime Minister Donald Tusk's government to capitulate to the protesters' demands, which included reinstating the permit system for Ukrainian truckers, adopting state subsidies for Polish corn, and a moratorium. On tax increases.

Last Thursday, the European Commission proposed extending the suspension of customs duties on agricultural goods from Ukraine and Moldova until 2025. This measure was originally scheduled to end this year.

Thousands of farmers from across the bloc descended on Brussels ahead of that summit, throwing eggs, stones and fireworks at the European Parliament building and setting huge piles of dung on fire.

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