“Prime Minister Mark Rutte called me today,” said LTO Chairman Sjaak van der Tak. Prime Minister Rutte has promised me that there are no taboos for government either. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture. Earlier this week, the LTO received an invitation from broker Johan Remkes, but at the time it was not clear whether the tough 2030 time target and measures from the nitrogen policy, such as buying and expropriation, could also be discussed.
The Farmers Defense Force (FDF) working group will remain with a previous refusal to join for the time being. Chairman Mark van den Auyver doesn’t have anything good to say about LTO doing this. “There are also people in agriculture who just don’t understand it,” he says of van der Tak. FDD believes the Cabinet should first remove the 2030 goals from the table and “start over”. Moreover, the prime minister should “say it in public, and not in some kind of phone conversation,” according to van den Auver.
Prime Minister Rutte has insisted for several weeks that he does not want to tamper with the nitrogen policy his minister van der Waal recently revealed, including its nitrogen map with sharp cut targets for ranchers in relation to nature. With this turn of the cabinet, there is finally the sight of the beginning of a resolution to the row between angry farmers and politics.
On Thursday morning, former Christian Democrat minister Henk Bleecker made an emotional plea to the Cabinet not to wait any longer. “I say to this government: Stop getting away. Come back from vacation, because the place is on fire.” And so Bleecker responded to the increasingly radical protests of farmers on the highways, whose dumping and burning endanger the lives of motorists.
The conversation will not be easy. The government has committed to a significant reduction in nitrogen emissions in order to save endangered plants and animals. As a result, tens of thousands of farms, and with them an entire agricultural chain, are at risk. Moreover, the government is urgently required to make room for housing and other activities.
On the other hand, farmers’ organizations want more time and opportunity to significantly reduce emissions through technical innovations.
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