Climate Change

Polish Farmers Protest EU Climate Policies in Warsaw, Sparking Political Turmoil

Main image to the post Polish Farmers Protest EU Climate Policies in Warsaw, Sparking Political Turmoil

Polish Farmers Protest EU Climate Policies in Warsaw

Tens of thousands of Polish farmers took to the streets of Warsaw on May 10th, protesting against the European Union's climate policies and the current pro-EU government led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

The protest, organized by the Solidarity farmers' trade union, was fueled by strong opposition to the EU's Green Deal, which aims to promote climate-friendly agriculture. Farmers expressed concerns that the Green Deal would impose burdensome regulations and limit their autonomy.

"We are protesting because we don't want to become slaves on our own land," stated Grazyna Gasowska, a dairy farmer from eastern Poland. "According to the Green Deal, we are supposed to grow what they tell us to, when they tell us to. All those diversification requirements are very difficult for the farmers."

The demonstration, aptly titled "Down with the Green Deal," was a visually striking display of discontent. Protesters marched through the city, stopping at key locations like the EU Warsaw office and the Polish parliament. Banners with messages like "Let Brussels eat worms, we prefer pork chops and potatoes" showcased their disdain for perceived EU dietary suggestions.

The protest coincided with the political campaigning for next month's European Parliament elections. The Polish right-wing opposition party Law and Justice, seeking to regain political influence after losing power to Tusk's coalition last year, voiced support for the farmers' cause.

In response to the political climate and upcoming elections, Prime Minister Tusk announced a reshuffle of his Cabinet last week. The aim was to inject new energy into his administration, which has been focused on reversing the policies set by the previous government.

"Today comes the time of bringing order and this is one of the reasons for which we jointly decided to have these changes," Tusk commented, signaling further adjustments in the future aligned with state interests.

Culture Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and Interior and Administration Minister Marcin Kierwinski were replaced in the reshuffle. The new appointees include Tomasz Siemoniak as the interior minister, Hanna Wroblewska as the culture minister, Jakub Jaworowski overseeing state assets, and Krzysztof Paszyk handling development and technology.

These changes are part of Tusk's broader effort to free the judiciary and state media from political control and address past mismanagement under the Law and Justice administration.

The new ministers are set to take office following their formal appointment by President Andrzej Duda on May 13th.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09