Robert Habeck PhotoFILE: German Minister of Economics and Climate Protection Robert Habeck adresses a press conference on June 10, 2022 in Berlin during a summit focussed on energy efficiency and energy saving. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)

Angry farmers bar German Minister from ferry

On Friday, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck voiced his worry after he was held up by angry farmers on a ferry in Schluettsiel, a northern town. The farmers were protesting against the government’s intention to reduce tax benefits for farming this year.

A police spokesman said that about 30 demonstrators blocked Habeck from leaving the boat on Thursday when he came back from a winter vacation on the island of Hallig Hooge in the North Sea.

Habeck chose to remain on the ferry and go back to the island when the farmers refused to end their siege.

Police said Habeck came back to the mainland around 1:50 am Friday (0050 GMT) when the situation was under control.

Around 100 farmers had driven their tractors to the harbor to confront the minister, and the police had to use pepper spray to break up the crowd.

Habeck said in a statement that he was sorry that he could not talk to the farmers.

He said he was concerned that the country’s mood was getting too heated.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit called the incident “disgraceful and a violation of democratic norms” on X, the former Twitter.

The German Farmers’ Association (DBV) chief Joachim Rukwied said in a statement that such blockades were unacceptable.

Farmers had been furious about the government’s plan to scrap tax breaks for farming this year.

They had gone to Berlin in December to demonstrate against the plan, clogging the streets with their tractors and spilling manure.

The government partially backed down from the planned subsidy cuts on Thursday after the protest.

The government said it would keep the vehicle tax discount for farming, and phase out the diesel subsidy over several years instead of ending it right away.

But the farming sector said this was not enough and demanded that the government completely drop the plan, which was announced after a surprising court decision forced the government to make budget cuts for 2024.



Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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