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Thousands of German farmers block roads to protest subsidy cuts

Thousands of farmers in Germany began nationwide protests on Monday against the government’s plans to cut agricultural subsidies.

In the capital Berlin, hundreds of farmers parked tractors in front of the city’s landmark Brandenburg Gate, and blocked traffic for hours in the government district.

“I would rather die than be a slave,” one farmer wrote on his tractor.

German Farmers' Association said the protests will continue throughout the week, in order to make it clear to the government that they will not accept cuts in agricultural subsidies.

“This is the only way to ensure the supply of high-quality, local food,” the association’s President Joachim Rukwied told local media.

Protests were also organized in other major cities, including Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, and Stuttgart.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's left-liberal coalition had announced last month that it is planning to cut agricultural fuel and vehicle subsidies, as part of new austerity measures to meet budget rules.

Last week, the government revised its planned spending cuts, but the farmers’ association said these changes were far from sufficient to address their problems.

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