Dutch Farmers Protest Expands
July 6, 2022 (EIRNS)—While the farmers’ protest in the Netherlands expands, the government has deployed infantry fighting vehicles against the demonstration. Dutch farmers are protesting against the implementation of the European Green Deal policy, which demands a 30% reduction in farming area.
The following article appeared in issue # 27 of the European EIR Strategic Alert.
The farmer demonstrations in the Netherlands have now expanded to other productive layers of society and turned into a general protest against the government. On July 4, fishermen joined in, blocking several ports (excluding Rotterdam), while farmers blocked distribution centers of major retail markets. As one of the leaders of the movement, Sieta van Keimpema, (in Dutch) explained in a video message to German colleagues, shown at the July 2 party congress of the Bürgerrechtsbewegung Solidarität (Civil Rights Movement Solidarity), the population supports the action, despite suffering some food shortages.
The protest was unleashed by a letter from the Minister for “Nature and Nitrogen” Christianne Van der Wal, announcing the government policy to shut down 30% of farms in order to reduce nitrogen emissions. The letter was accompanied by a map dividing the Netherlands into several colored areas, indicating how much emissions need to be reduced, ranging from 12% to 95%. The government was offering to buy up the farms that are to be shut down, many of which have been in operation for centuries, and theoretically, farmers could set up a farm somewhere else, which is actually impossible, Mrs. Kampema explained. The Netherlands has about 53,000 farms and is among the largest exporters of food products, which amounted to €105 billion in 2021.
After the first massive demonstrations involving 60,000 farmers and 20,000 tractors, they made proposals to amend the legislation, but both the government and the parliament rejected them. Therefore, the farmers decided to continue their protest, and also to seek alliances in other layers of society. Originally directed against the nitrogen law, the protest is now against the government, whose support in opinion polls is below 15%.
The situation is equally explosive everywhere in Europe, where the very existence of productive layers of society is threatened by hyperinflation and so-called “green” measures.
The peculiarity of the Dutch protest is that it occurs in a major center of oligarchical power in Europe. More specifically, one of the main causes of energy price hyperinflation is the TTF gas futures market in Amsterdam. The TTF was set up as part of the EU energy market, and was modeled on the British National Balancing Point. It has progressively replaced long-term bilateral contracts among countries and allows commodity traders, and also financial traders, to determine the price of futures contracts on natural gas. Hedge funds bets on the TTF exchange have created an artificial scarcity of gas and driven prices to unsustainable levels, long before the war in Ukraine. Financial profits generated by the TTF are now an integral part of the global financial casino. The protest movement, to be successful, needs to target this and other elements of the system, and call for a regulated “New Bretton Woods” protection for producers and households.