5,000 farmers are said to have taken part in a tractor rally in Slovenia in order to protest green agenda rules implemented by both national and EU officials in the country.
The demo is reminiscent of similar events that are now regularly taking place in other EU countries, with farmers in Germany, Flanders and the Netherlands all having taken part in similar rallies protesting EU green rules.
According to a report by Euractiv, around 5,000 farmers are said to have taken part in the protest, which has largely been in response to recent ruling restricting he use of pesticides in certain areas over water pollution fears.
Farmers are also angry about legal protections for wolves and brown bears in the country — both of which have reportedly been involved in attacks on livestock — as well as widespread EU environmentalist protections affecting one-third of Slovenia’s total landmass.
Those in the farming sector are now demanding that the government acts within ten days to curb many of these measures, warning that they will escalate their protests if the movement’s demands are not met.
Speaking on the protest, President of the Trade Union of Slovenian Farmers, Anton Medved, claimed that Slovenian farmers had been “sacrificed for the environmental experiments of activists and civil servants” before adding that both the “Green countryside and national prosperity are the results of the work of farmers”.
“We expect they will receive us within ten days. If not, we will step up our activities,” he went on to say.
Initially starting in the Netherlands, where the country’s government has repeatedly threatened to forcibly shut down farms over fears to do with nitrogen pollution, the demonstrations have since spread to neighbouring Germany and Flanders, the latter of which saw farmers pour into the EU’s de facto capital of Brussels to express their frustrations with the bloc’s environmentalist goals.
Although failing initially to provoke any positive change within government administrations, 2023 has seen the protest movement finally start to have a serious political effect, with a pro-farmer party that was only founded in 2019 outright winning the Dutch regional elections earlier this month.
The FarmerCitizenMovement (BBB) party is now set to hold the single largest number of seats within the country’s senate, with some party’s within the ruling Dutch coalition now expressing a desire to see EU rules aimed at putting farmers out of business curtailed in response to the party’s extremely strong polling.
Slovenian officials so far appear like they will be far more willing to listen to the concerns of the country’s farmers however, with the country’s minister for agriculture insisting that the “farmers know that we are on their side”, even if “not all” of the protest’s demands “can be solved overnight”.