Little or nothing is said about it in Italy, but what has been happening for several months now in the Netherlands and Belgium will most likely also affect our country in the coming years. Thousands of farmers and ranchers are protesting against the new environmental measures envisaged by governments which, claiming they want to hit CO2 emissions, are preparing laws that will hit the agricultural and livestock sector hard.
The latest manifestation chronologically, it took place on 11 March in The Hague where, despite the ban by the authorities, more than ten thousand people gathered to protest against the Dutch government’s plans to reduce nitrogen emissions in a long column of tractors which crossed the streets in the area. The protest, organized by Farmers Defense Force (Fdf) and Samen voor Nederland (Together for the Netherlands), takes place a few days before the regional elections to be held on Wednesday. As a sign of rebellion, many producers displayed upside down national flags and banners with the slogan “No farmers, no food”.
In fact, the Dutch government wants to reduce 50% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to do so it has pointed the finger at fertilizers and livestock waste deemed guilty of damaging the environment. Farmers fear that behind this decision lies the risk of forced expropriations also due to the measures envisaged for the reduction of herds and livestock, in fact we must not forget that Holland is the leading meat exporting country in European Union and among the leading in the world.
Farmers’ protests, which have been going on for several months, also affected Belgium a few days ago where 2,700 tractors blocked traffic in Brussels against the nitrogen plan of the Flemish government. The provision conceived by the Flemish executive provides for a reduction in emissions from the agricultural sector by introducing financial charges for the sectors that emit the most starting from pig breeding, thus threatening the existence of many companies.
As he explains Eva VlaardingerbroekDutch conservative activist at the forefront of defending farmers to ilHiornale.it: “This is an issue that concerns us all. If we allow the Dutch government to dispossess our farmers and we allow our constitutional rights to not be respected like that, then it’s a matter of time before they come after the rest of us”.
Although these protests are going almost unnoticed in the Italian media, in the Netherlands they are a deeply felt issue and on social media there has also been Elon Musk asking for more information on the question “what laws do you want the government to change?”.
The risk that in the coming years these measures will also be implemented in the rest of Europe and in Italy is concrete and, if on the one hand policies in favor of synthetic food or the consumption of insects are favored, on the other they will hit farmers and breeders with an impact on an industry which employs tens of thousands of people and determines thefood supply of hundreds of millions of people. Once again we are faced with an attempt to change our lifestyles by attacking the eating habits of each of us and destroying sectors that are historically part of the European economy.