Berlin and Dublin were ground to a halt in the past 48 hours amid growing outrage at EU regulations. Furious agricultural workers and farmers shut down roads across both Germany and Ireland in fear that environmental regulations are hurting their jobs. Thousands of farmers took part in the protest in Germany, as several hundred tractors blockaded main roads in Bavaria, Baden Wurttemberg and Bremen, as well as the German capital.
The Berlin mayor, Michael Muller, recognized that it was a “burden for Berlin,” but “the farmers have their point of view”.
He added that locals would “have to tolerate” the upheaval.
The rallies coincided with Berlin’s Green Week, a food and agricultural fair which starts on Friday, which has often attracted huge waves of protests in recent years.
Farmers across Europe are increasingly alarmed about the future of the agricultural and environmental policy, following the EU’s GBP852bn Green New Deal policy.
In the past two months, similar agricultiural protests have broken out in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
On Friday, German protesters said they were fed up with new animal welfare and restrictions on the use of pesticides to protect insects, among other things.
The farmer’s collective Land schafft Verbindung (LSV), or Land Creates Connection, has led the movement against the tightening regulations.
Placards accompanying the tractors read: “Don’t forget that farmers feed you,” “No farm, no food, no future” and “We are fed up!”
Earlier this week, in Ireland, about 60 tractors and dozens of other vehicles were involved in 24-hours of action, disrupting traffic in the centre of Dublin.
The Individual Farmers of Ireland said a better beef price was needed to help sustain rural Ireland amid fears over Europe’s agricultural industry.
The group said it “wanted to leave its mark”.
It is the second period of Irish demonstrations since November when streets were blocked.
The protests come amid a growing push from climate activists for greater environmental reforms.
Concerns around cimate protection have recently surged to the top of the political agenda following months of student-led school strike protests.
Ursula von Der Leyen demanded that member-states push through the climate change budget so that the EU can enforce the European Green Deal.