Polish farmers stage parliament sit-in against Ukraine imports and EU regulations

Polish farmers protest
Polish farmers protest Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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An influx of grain from Ukraine has compounded existing grievances against what farmers describe as punitive environmental regulations from Brussels.


In an escalation of their ongoing protests, farmers from the Polish Farmers’ Union, Orka, staged a sit-in at the Polish parliament on Thursday, claiming that their livelihoods are threatened on multiple fronts.

“Today we want to protest against the Green Deal, against the opening of the border to products flowing into the country from Ukraine,” a union spokesperson said during a press conference.

“We are not thugs or hooligans. We want to protest in a cultured way, to manifest the problems we have in agriculture."

Protesters are demanding a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who has been in on and off talks with protesters since February. 

Farmers in parliament are promising to occupy the Sejm until Tusk meets with them.

Similar protests have been staged by farmers in countries across the EU, with demonstrators blockading major highways to call for the prioritisation of European produce and the easing of environmental regulations that they say are punishing their businesses.

The Polish protests have drawn support from Poland's conservative Law and Justice party, which lost power to Tusk in an election last autumn, and the far-right Confederation.

In an attempt to mitigate financial strain on farmers, the government has introduced new subsidies for farmers, intended to help manage the effects of surplus grain on the market.

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