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EU blasted as Ursula von der Leyen 'removes petrol from tractors to put it in tanks'

Farmers across the European Union have taken to the streets, protesting what they perceive as burdensome regulations, unfair competition, and detrimental policy decisions. Among their grievances is the contentious move by the European Commission, led by President Ursula von der Leyen, to prioritise supporting Ukraine economically at the expense of domestic agricultural interests.

The agricultural sector, which has long been the backbone of many EU member states, finds itself grappling with stringent clean-air and soil targets, coupled with what farmers see as unfair competition from abroad.

The situation has escalated to the point where protests, sometimes violent, have erupted in various countries across the bloc, with Poland being a recent epicentre of farmer discontent.

In a note sent to Express.co.uk, Italian MEP Marco Zanni, leader of the ID Group in the European Parliament spoke out against what he perceives as a dangerous trend within EU leadership. Zanni criticised what he sees as a shift from supporting Ukraine towards militarisation, highlighting concerns that the EU’s fundamental commitment to peace is being compromised.

“For weeks, a dangerous drift seems to be emerging in some irresponsible statements by some European leaders,” Zanni said. “The sacrosanct support for Ukraine is transforming into something different. Someone today wants to give the idea of a continent preparing for war, an EU economy that is transformed into a war economy.”

Zanni emphasised the importance of maintaining the EU’s commitment to peaceful cooperation between member states, rather than embarking on a path towards militarisation.

He underscored the interconnectedness of the agricultural sector with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, urging the EU to ensure that financial support for Kyiv is balanced with assistance for vulnerable sectors within the bloc, particularly agriculture.

“The theme of agriculture is closely linked to Ukraine: in the next Council it is necessary to highlight that financial support for Kyiv must go hand in hand with support for the weakest, for those who are most in difficulty in the EU today, especially for the agricultural category,” Zanni stressed.

The Italian MEP called for introspection within the European Commission, urging a reassessment of policies that have adversely impacted the agricultural sector. He specifically pointed to the need for the Commission to acknowledge and rectify past mistakes, particularly as the current legislative term draws to a close.

“The Commission must do a mea culpa on this and confirming the EU’s errors in its approach to the agricultural world is the backtracking on some measures, especially at the end of this legislature,” Zanni added.

However, it was Zanni’s striking final remark that encapsulated the frustration and defiance of many farmers: “And that the message that risks getting through doesn’t get through: that they want to remove petrol from tractors and put it in tanks.”


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