Dutch ministers “warn that farmers will have to adapt or face the prospect of shuttering their businesses.”
Police in the Netherlands opened fire at farmers protesting against the government’s radical new “climate change” policies. The shots were fired when a tractor convoy tried to push past a police barricade, the local news reports say.
“The incident occurred late Tuesday evening on a freeway access near Heerenveen” in northern Holland, the Swiss newspaper Schweizer Bauer reported. “Farmers had blocked the road with tractors. As they approached police and their vehicles, the officers resorted to their firearms and hit at least one of the tractors,” the daily added, citing police sources.
No one was hurt in the incident, news reports confirm.
Shots fired in The Netherlands on driving farmers. No self-defence, this is just escalation on behalf of the Dutch ‘government’. True colours are all out. #boerenprotesten #politiegeweld #DutchFoodYourFood pic.twitter.com/ipzPyR1x9O
— Sietske Bergsma (@SBergsma) July 6, 2022
Nationwide demonstrations erupted last week in response to the government’s new regulations — passed by the Parliament on June 28 — forcing the farmers to reduce emissions drastically.
The German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the incident:
Dutch authorities on Wednesday said an official investigation has been opened into the events of a heated night of farmers’ protests in the north of the Netherlands.
Farmers have been demonstrating against a government proposal to slash emissions of pollutants. The protests turned into unrest as they blocked roads and supermarket distribution centers for several days.
Police say they fired warning shots late on Tuesday and arrested several people after protesting farmers started driving their tractors toward officers at a highway entry lane in Friesland.
But the protesters contest the police’s statement, claiming they posed no threat to the officers.
According to local media reports, the Dutch farmers’ interest group LTO called for an investigation, while the police union ACP insisted it was incidental event that would not contribute to further escalation in the already tense situation.
Hours later, on Wednesday morning, protesting farmers were gathering outside the Groningen airport in the north of the country.
The protesters were seeking to block the Groningen airport with their tractors. Medical flights were not affected, according to an official as quoted by the Volkskrant newspaper.
Armed with new regulations, the Dutch government is threatening to put farmers out of business. The government ministers “warn that farmers will have to adapt or face the prospect of shuttering their businesses,” the newspaper Irish Independent reported on June 29.
The protests intensified this week, with farmers picketing government buildings, blocking highways, and blockading supermarkets. “Two days of blockades of distribution centres by farmers’ protest groups will cost supermarkets tens of millions, food retailers’ group CBL has warned,” the media outlet Dutch News reported Wednesday.
New regulations demand that Dutch farmers drastically reduce their livestock. The Dutch authorities “estimates a 30 per cent reduction in the number of livestock is needed,” the French TV channel Euro News reported Tuesday.
The Dutch parliament passed emission regulations for farmers to comply with European Union diktats. “European conservation laws limit the amount of nitrogen pollution allowed around listed conservation areas known as Natura 2000 zones,” Euro News explained.
With war raging in Ukraine, the world’s second largest grain exporter, the Dutch climate regulations could severely impact the global food supply. The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the United States.
[Excerpts from German media reports translated by the author]DONATE
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