European Green Deal | Polish farmers demonstrate in Warsaw

(Varsovie) Des milliers d’agriculteurs polonais se sont rassemblés mardi à Varsovie pour protester contre le Pacte vert européen et en faveur de contrôles plus stricts des importations des produits agroalimentaires en provenance d’Ukraine.

Arborant des drapeaux nationaux blanc et rouges, les manifestants se sont réunis dans le centre de la capitale polonaise avant de se diriger vers les sièges du Parlement et du premier ministre, aux sons de trompettes, de sirènes d’alarme et de pétards, ont constaté des journalistes de l’AFP.

« Nous protestons contre le Pacte vert européen qui limite notre production […] and against uncontrolled imports of Ukrainian products,” Rafal Gebczyk, a pepper producer, dressed like most of the demonstrators in a yellow vest, told AFP.

According to Michal Zemke, owner of a farm of around a hundred hectares, the green pact is “killing our farms” and uncontrolled non-EU products create “unfair competition”.

“We do not want to harm Ukraine, we want the problems to be resolved for our good and that of the Ukrainians. We must help them, because the war risks affecting us too,” he stressed.

Farmer protests have been taking place for several weeks in Poland, with farmers blocking roads across the country and border crossings with Ukraine.

Poland has been one of Ukraine’s main supporters since the launch of the Russian offensive in February 2022.

But their relations have been poisoned in recent months by commercial disputes, in particular by the opening, by Brussels, of European borders to Ukrainian agricultural products.

“We are for aid to Ukraine, but not at the cost of the lives and work of Polish farmers. We want to help, but not at the cost of losing our farms,” Stefan Wojcik, one of the organizers of the protest, told AFP.

“If nothing changes, there will be other demonstrations, other road blockages,” he said. We are fighting today for our survival, for our farms, for the food security of Poland and Europe.”

Last week, the Polish government told AFP that Warsaw and Kyiv were still “far from an agreement” on imports of Ukrainian agricultural products.

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