Freepik (illustrative photo)

German Farmers’ Protest Blocks Czech Border Crossings

The Czech border crossings into Germany at Strazny in South Bohemia, Bozi Dar in the Karlovy Vary Region and Vejprty in the Usti Region near Chomutov have been impassable and closed since this morning, as they are blocked on the German side by protesting farmers, police told CTK today.

A kilometre-long queue of trucks has formed on the Czech side.

“People who commute to Germany for work are turning around their cars and coming back. However, the trucks are standing in a convoy that is about a kilometre long,” said Stepanka Schwarzova, a spokeswoman for the South Bohemian police, describing the situation at the Strazny crossing.

In the Karlovy Vary Region, it is possible to enter Saxony via Kraslice or Vojtanov in the Cheb area, while in the Usti nad Labem Region, drivers can freely cross between Germany and the Czech Republic via Hora Sv. Sebestiana in the Chomutov area, and other crossings which are still freely passable.

German farmers this morning blocked a number of motorway entrance ramps and roads across the country in protest at the government’s planned cuts in agricultural subsidies.

According to the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper, farmers staged a large blockade in the Bavarian municipality of Philippsreut on the border with the Czech Republic.

The server reported on problems at the Erzgebirge border crossings between the Czech Republic and Saxony, including the impassable road between Bozi Dar and Oberwiesenthal.

“Given the situation that prevails at the crossings today, we do not want to recommend that drivers choose another place to travel to Germany instead of Strazny. The situation may also be complicated elsewhere. That is why we are instead appealing to drivers, if they do not have to go to Germany today, not to travel anywhere,” Schwarzova said.

The head of the German Farmers Union (DBV), Joachim Rukwied, warned the government in mid-December that unless it reversed the planned cuts in agriculture, farmers would unleash protests from January that Germany had never seen before. A week ago, Olaf Scholz’s cabinet responded by announcing that agricultural vehicles would continue to be exempt from tax and that the diesel tax advantage for agricultural machinery would be phased out gradually in several steps.

The DBV says it considers this concession insufficient and is demanding the withdrawal of all austerity proposals.

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