European Greens: Farmers’ protest is 'far-right event'

The European farmers’ protest taking place in Brussels on Tuesday is largely “a far-right event disguised as farmers’ protest”, according to politicians from the European Greens, who say all the political speakers at the event belong to the far right.

Farmers gathered with their tractors at the Atomium Park in Laeken. The Brussels police announced at around 11.00 that there were about 500 participants.

From noon, a host of speakers took the floor. These included representatives of organisations such as Farmers Defence Force Netherlands and Farmers Defence Force Belgium, as well as numerous politicians. “The list of speakers shows that all those politicians belong to the far right,” the European Greens said.

MEP Tom Vandendriessche of the Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang, who heads his party's European list in next Sunday's elections, is among the speakers. Politicians from Poland's PiS (Law and Justice), the Dutch Forum for Democracy and far-right Polish party Konfederacja (Confederation) are also on the list. Agricultural organisations from France and Spain that have delegated a speaker have close ties with the French party Rassemblement National and Spanish party Vox, according to the Greens.

Major agricultural organisations like the European umbrella organisation Copa-Cogeca, the Dutch LTO and the German Deutscher Bauernverband are staying away from the protest. European leader for the Greens Bas Eickhout, of the Dutch political alliance GroenLinks–PvdA, applauds their choice to not participate.

“The far right has lied to farmers that Europe and the Green Deal caused their problems,” he said. “A small proportion of farmers have taken those lies for true and are now siding with the far right.”

The Greens say they want to continue talking to the major farmers’ organisations. “But certainly not with the far-right activists who are in Brussels today,” said Eickhout.

The farmers' protest in Brussels, 4 June 2024 © PHOTO SIMON WOHLFAHRT / AFP © BELGA VIDEO TIMON RAMBOER

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