65fc448585f540020b180d49 675tQy

Poles unhappy with government’s handling of farmer protests – poll

Nearly 50% of Polish people disapprove of the country’s policies amid rallies against the EU green agenda and Ukrainian imports

Almost 50% of Polish people think their government has failed in its handling of the ongoing farmer protests, a recent survey has shown. Respondents also expressed dissatisfaction at how long the coalition is taking to fulfill promises it made during the election campaign.

Polish farmers have been staging regular protests across the country since January, maintaining continuous blockades of border crossings with Ukraine. While the authorities in Warsaw have made certain concessions in a bid to appease the demonstrators, agricultural workers will not relent, arguing that the issue of unfair competition from cheap Ukrainian produce has not been fully addressed.

Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reported the findings of a poll on Wednesday, which was conducted by United Surveys research center between March 8 and March 10, surveying 1,000 Poles to mark the first 100 days of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s government.

According to the newspaper, 47% of respondents described the cabinet’s response to the farmers’ protests as a “defeat,” with 32% saying the measures adopted had been sufficient, and 21% giving no clear answer.

Read more

EU extends tariff-free trade with Ukraine  

Some 52.2% said they were unhappy with the slow pace of the implementation of electoral promises made by the incumbent government.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of farmers descended on multiple Polish cities, including Warsaw, obstructing traffic on key roads and highways with their tractors and other heavy machinery. The organizers had vowed to “paralyze” the entire country.

According to local media, several roads leading to the German-Polish border were also blocked.

Police had previously estimated that 70,000 people would take part in more than 580 separate rallies across Poland on Wednesday.

Similar protests have taken place in several other EU countries since the start of the year.

Farmers have been mainly calling for the lifting of restrictions placed on their activities under the EU Green Deal.

Another major bone of contention is the continued flow of duty-free Ukrainian agricultural products, which farmers claim is threatening to put them out of business.

Meanwhile, as protesters converged on major Polish cities, EU leaders provisionally decided to extend duty-free access to its markets for Ukraine until June 2025. The agreement includes an “emergency brake” on imports of poultry, eggs, sugar, oats, maize, groats, and honey, should those exceed the average levels of 2022 and 2023. However, Polish farmers have opposed the move, insisting that years prior to the start of the Ukraine conflict, when volumes were much lower, should be used as the reference point.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *