The German government on Thursday dropped part of its plans to cut agricultural subsidies in the face of massive protests from farmers that began last month.
After farmers in their thousands brought Berlin to a standstill, the German government announced on Thursday it would progressively reduce diesel tax breaks, rather than stop them altogether this month as initially proposed.
In a statement published on Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesman Steffen Hebestreit also said the initial proposal to cut tax exemptions on agricultural machinery would no longer be implemented and instead the exemptions would remain in place.
“The situation on site was heated, meaning that a dialogue between Mr. Habeck and the protest leaders could not be enabled, and because of that the ferry departed again,” police said. “From within the ranks of the protest, around 25-30 people tried to get on board the ferry, but they were held back by the officials on the scene, in part with the use of pepper spray.”
According to police in Flensburg, Habeck made it back in the middle of the night “without further incident.” He was caught on camera disembarking from the ferry at 1:50 am.
Habeck, the Green party’s Economy Minister, is labelled by Politico as Germany’s “top Green.” He is relevant to removing subsidies and exemptions from farmers for two reasons, DW reported. He was one of the three party leaders, along with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Finance Minister Christian Lindner, to negotiate a way out of the budget impasse; and his portfolio also includes considerable if shared responsibility for energy and climate policies.