• Germany edition
 
Angry dairy farmers to get tax relief
Photo: DPA

Angry dairy farmers to get tax relief

Published: 25 May 2009 15:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 May 2009 15:56 GMT+02:00

A spokesman for the German finance ministry told a news conference on Monday that the government would cut taxes on diesel fuel used on farms and consider other measures to help troubled farms.

The reduction will apply for two years, Torsten Albig said. He estimated the tax cut would cost the government €525 million in lost revenue.

Check out photos of the tractor march on Berlin.

His comments came after dairy farmers staged a mass protest in the capital by riding on tractors through Berlin’s city centre. The demonstrations drew some 6,000 farmers and 200 tractors to the streets leading to the central Victory Column.

"Where is the rescue plan for us farmers?" asked one banner draped across a tractor.

Dairy farmers in Germany have been complaining that the current price of €0.20 per litre of milk is ruinously low, saying they need at least €0.40 to make their businesses profitable.

On Sunday, the vice president of the National Union of Farmers (DBV), Udo Folgert, warned that one-fifth of all dairy farms in Germany were threatened with closure as a result of souring milk prices.

Many farmers across Europe are currently protesting the falling cost of food, and Germany’s 90,000 dairy farmers are seen as particularly vulnerable to the price cuts.

Chancellor Angela Merkel can ill afford to lose farmers' support before the September 27 national election, with the Bavarian sister party to her conservatives, the Christian Social Union, particularly reliant on the rural vote.

The Berlin demonstration came as unions said some 12,000 farmers blockaded 81 dairies around France and dairy producers from 10 European countries demonstrated in Brussels against low wholesale milk prices.

Later on Monday, European Union agriculture ministers were to discuss the crisis in the food industry.

Farmers say that the price they are paid for milk by wholesalers has fallen dramatically in recent months, while the cost to consumers in supermarkets has remained stable.

In May 2008 dairy farmers staged delivery strikes in a similar pricing conflict, pouring milk down drains and threatening national supplies until retailers agreed to raise prices.

AFP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats
Photo: DPA

Munich man arrested for foreigner death threats

A man from Munich was arrested on Monday for posting videos on Facebook in which he posed with a gun and threatened to kill foreigners. READ  

View from Germany
'Only losers in economic war with Russia'
Volkswagen is the German company with the biggest turnover Russia. Photo: DPA

'Only losers in economic war with Russia'

German businesses are lobbying hard against imposing tougher sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, warning further sanctions would hurt the country's exports and threaten German jobs. READ  

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy
The Israeli Embassy in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man sets himself on fire outside Israeli embassy

UPDATE: A man set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Berlin on Monday night. Police said it was too soon to say whether it was part of a political protest. READ  

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway
Photo: NRW-aktuell.tv/YouTube screenshot

Thousands of litres of beer close motorway

Thousands of litres of beer were spilled on a motorway near Duisburg in western Germany on Monday night, when a truck carrying several hundred crates of Bitburger toppled over, shutting the Autobahn. READ  

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis
Photo: DPA

Court allows patients to grow their own cannabis

Seriously ill patients will be allowed to grow their own cannabis at home for medicinal purposes, a German court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Seven German family members killed in Gaza
An Israeli strike on Gaza City on Monday. Photo: DPA

Seven German family members killed in Gaza

UPDATE: Seven members of a German family living in Gaza City were killed in an Israeli air strike on Monday evening. READ  

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum
Photo: DPA

Workers in Germany pay record tax sum

Workers in Germany are paying a record amount of tax into government coffers, according to figures published on Monday. Those on an average wage of €40,000 pay almost twice as much tax in Germany as they would in the United States or Australia. READ  

Netflix to launch in Germany in September
Laverne Cox, star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Photo: EPA/PETER FOLEY

Netflix to launch in Germany in September

Netflix revealed plans on Monday to launch in Germany in September this year, bringing the popular movie and TV streaming service to one of the world’s biggest markets. READ  

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia
An armed separatist walks past the bodybags of victims of the MH17 crash. Photo: EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia

Germany's foreign minister said Monday the EU will "raise the pressure" on Russia over the Ukraine crisis following the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 with a suspected missile. READ  

No foreigner road toll for German borders?
Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (l) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer are fighting over the "foreigner toll". Photo: DPA

No foreigner road toll for German borders?

Bavaria’s interior minister has called for German border regions to be exempt from a controversial project to charge foreigners to use the country’s roads, sparking a row within his own party. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Joachim Löw: A career in pictures
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
National
Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Should Germany follow France and ban the burqa?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,232
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd