Polish farmers launch new wave of protests – Executive Digest

Polish farmers are today launching a new wave of strikes called by the Solidarity trade union, which will include a general strike – starting this Friday for an indefinite period – and a blockade of the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine.

According to local media, Polish farmers will block the Dorohusk-Yahodin border crossing for a month starting today, with the aim of closing all crossing points into Ukraine.

According to Ukraine's State Border Guard Service, “according to preliminary information from the Polish side, the local farmers' strike will extend to the Sosin-Ustiluh checkpoint on the Polish border”. “On Monday, February 12, a partial traffic jam is expected,” officials continued in a statement.

Yesterday, the Polish Ministry of Agriculture held meetings with representatives of associations and unions against the extension of EU preferential trade with Ukraine.

At the meeting, which ended without the protest being called off, industry experts highlighted that their biggest concerns were the EU's new green rules, which would increase production costs and impact the import market of agricultural products from Ukraine.

Today's protest has the slogan “For the protection of healthy Polish products”.

Czesław Siekierski, Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at the end of the meeting that he agreed with the need to support the industry and would discuss options for action with the Ministry of Finance. “In addition to loans with low interest rates, there should be subsidies for grains and fertilizers”, he pointed out as hypotheses.

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