Czech farmers take tractors to Prague in protest at EU agriculture policies

Hundreds of tractors blocked a road in Prague in a farmers’ protest on Monday over European Union agriculture policies and what they said were unfair practices.

Major organisations representing Czech farmers did not participate and distanced themselves from the rally after it turned out some organisers were behind recent pro-Russian demonstrations.

Traffic was not halted but the council warned people not to drive to Prague on Monday.

The protesters were planning to hand agriculture minister Marek Vyborny a letter with their demands. They particularly target the EU’s Green Deal, which calls for limits on the use of chemicals and on greenhouse gas emissions and want the country out of it. Some demanded the government’s resignation.

Other farmers’ groups said they planned separate demonstrations on Thursday with counterparts from neighbouring and other countries.

Similar protests have taken place across the bloc in recent weeks. Farmers complain that the 27-nation EU’s policies on the environment and other matters are a financial burden and make their products more expensive than non-EU imports.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has made some concessions over the last few weeks, including shelving plans to halve the use of pesticides and other dangerous substances. Nonetheless, the protests have spread.

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