Commuter alert: Prague braces for a second round of tractor protests Thursday

The City of Prague has urged residents to use public transport instead of cars and work from home where possible. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.03.2024 10:11:00 (updated on 06.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

A second mass farmers’ protest Thursday morning in Czechia will see hundreds of farmers from around the country – along with their tractors – congregate in the center of Prague. The City of Prague has asked citizens to avoid car travel, use public transport, or work from home.

When will the protest take place?

According to protest organizers – the Czech Agrarian Chamber and the Agricultural Union – farmers and their tractors will arrive in the capital between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday. 

At about midday, most protesting farmers will congregate outside the Government Office (at Malá Strana). The gathering should last until approximately 1:30 p.m. Afterward, the farmers should leave the capital with their tractors. 

Which parts of Prague will be affected?

The City of Prague says that farmers will drive into the city from five directions, complicating traffic on major highways that lead into Prague, including the D1, D3, D5, D8, and D11. Congestion will also occur on major roads that encircle Prague, such as the Prague Ring Road.

According to Czech police, the exact route of farmers (after reaching Prague) is not fully known, but they know the main stopping points. “Protesters plan to drive around the Letná Park area, along the Edvard Beneš embankment and the Chotkov, Milada Horáková, Veletržní, Dukelské Hrdinů roads, and then to the Government Office.”

How many farmers are expected to turn up?

The exact numbers are unclear and unconfirmed, though Czech media report that the turnout will be in the “hundreds.” A similar protest in mid-February saw about 600 farmers congregate in Prague and demonstrate outside the Ministry of Agriculture.

Why are farmers protesting?

Czech farmers’ main grievances are rising production costs, higher taxes, excessive environmental rules (with particular annoyance at the EU’s Green Deal), more bureaucracy, and the recent emergence of cheap imports. 

Representatives of farmers’ organizations in Czechia met last week with Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný, setting out a list of five demands, which included a reduction of bureaucracy, halting of cheap grain imports from Ukraine, and higher agriculture subsidies.

The government hoped that its recent decision to increase national agricultural subsidies for animal welfare support – by CZK 550 million, up from the current CZK 672 million – would appease the farmers and cancel the protest, but the move was not enough.

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