German farmers continued weeklong protests in Berlin yesterday, with over 10,000 protesters and roughly 5,000 tractors blocking roads in the city's center. The protests stem from government plans first announced in December to end several farming subsidies to help fill a funding gap in this year's federal budget.
Germany's three-party coalition found itself in need of $65B in November after a judge ruled their plan to allocate unused pandemic emergency funds in the budget was unconstitutional. To plug the gap, lawmakers abolished a 70-year-old tax break on farmers' diesel fuel, a move expected to cost farms an average of $3,300 annually. The plan also nixed subsidies on electric vehicles and solar energy earlier than planned. In light of the protests, the government reinstated some tax relief for farmers early this month.
The protests follow separate agricultural demonstrations in Spain, France, and the Netherlands in recent years as farmers respond to increased costs and weakening public support.