Thousands of farmers in Poland protest Ukrainian imports and EU policies


Thousands of farmers marched in Poland's capital on Tuesday to protest European Union agricultural policies and imports of cheap food from neighboring Ukraine, part of weeks of similar protests across Europe.

Protesters say they want the Polish government to withdraw from the EU's Green Deal, a plan meant to fight climate change and help the environment with measures that they say are too costly.

The protesting farmers also want Poland's border with Ukraine sealed to the imports of grain and other food products that they say are bringing down the prices farmers can get on the domestic market.

The protesters, who for the most part left their tractors at home, planned to end up in front of the offices of Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who on Tuesday was in Prague for a meeting with his Czech counterpart.

Tusk, who has described farmers' anger as justified, said the countries would be working with Brussels to find solutions to farmers' demands. Tusk also said Poland and Czechia are intent on helping Ukraine while acknowledging the "negative effects" that Ukrainian produce is having on local farmers.

From Italy to Spain to Belgium and elsewhere, farmers' protests have made their plight a key political theme ahead of June 6-9 parliamentary elections in the 27-nation EU.

The EU Commission has already made some concessions to farmers, including postponing a cut in pesticide use until after the elections.

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