Dutch Farmers Light Motorways on Fire Again Ahead of Negotiations with Govt

Farmers block the A35 motorway with tractors as they protest against the government's nitrogen reforms, near Almelo, on July 28, 2022. - Farmers are protesting the government's far-reaching plans to cut nitrogen emissions, which could see livestock reduced by almost a third. The Netherlands, the world's second largest agricultural exporter, …
SEM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch farmers once again took to the motorways of the Netherlands to deploy flaming bales of hay as makeshift road blocks.

On the eve of negotiations between the government’s mediator and 20 farmers’ associations, protestors put on a show of force, repeating last weeks tactics of covering motorways with burning bales of hay.

According to a report from Dutch public broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), about fifteen tractors had been witnessed gathering in the Brinkhofweg area of the A30 highway on Thursday before a fire was set around 8:30 pm. On the A1 motorway near Terschuur tractors were also seen before a pile of garbage was set ablaze.

Both fires were put out by local fire bridges and no injuries were reported.

Last week, motorways across the country were forced to shut down with tyres, garbage, hay, and other waste being strewn about by farmer protesters.

On Friday, major farming associations, including the LTO — which had previously rejected calls for talks unless the government scrapped its pledge to cut nitrogen emissions in half by the end of the decade — agreed to sit down with PM Mark Rutte’s handpicked negotiator, former deputy prime minister Johan Remkes.

Ahead of the meeting, the leader of the right-wing populist Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders warned the farmers that they should not trust the government to act in good faith during the negotiations.

“Dear farmers,” Wilders wrote on Twitter, “good luck today, but don’t forget: Rutte is an unreliable liar. And demand the signature of [Minister of Finance] Sigrid Kaag, not Rutte, because she is the boss in the cabinet and [the Democrats 66 party], the biggest farmer haters in the Netherlands.”

The protests, which have now entered their third month, have seen thousands of Dutch farmers use their tractors to block roads and key infrastructure in response to the EU-driven agenda of globalist Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who has vowed to cut nitrogen emissions by 50 per cent, which could see upwards of 30 per cent of farms shut down, threatening the livelihoods of thousands, many of whose families have worked the land for generations.

Rutte’s liberal coalition government — of which the leftwing Democrats 66 party is a member — has said that the move is necessary to abide by European Union diktats on wildlife preservation. Yet, farmers have argued in turn that other member states have not enacted such extreme measures, and therefore they have been put at an unfair disadvantage.

Though the farmers have taken extreme actions, such as lighting fires on motorways, the public support for the movement has remained strong, with four-in-ten supporting the farmers and and 71 per cent saying that they understand why the anger against the government’s nitrogen cap plan.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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