On Tuesday, thousands of farmers across Germany protested the federal government’s new agricultural package. Across social media, people shared photos of tractors driving down city streets. In Berlin, a convoy of tractors circled the Victory Column in Tiergarten.
— Udo Hemmerling (@UHemBer) October 22, 2019
Among the measures being protested are regulations that reduce the use of fertilizers and phase out the pesticide glyphosate by 2023. The Land schafft Verbindung, a coalition of more than 30,000 German farmers, says the agricultural package endangers small family farms.
Heute in Berlin – Demo der Brandenburger Bauern pic.twitter.com/NixAgZiI1Z
— Spezerei Weida (@Spezerei_Weida) October 22, 2019
In response to the demonstrations, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner told public broadcaster ZDF they are on the “side of the farmers” but that they’re also “on the side of consumers.”
The agricultural package also includes protections for insects and an animal welfare label.
On Tuesday morning, the Berlin Senate passed the law on rent cap regulations, known as the Mietendeckel. Next it will go to the House of Representatives for approval.
On Twitter, the regional chairman of Berlin’s CDU party Kai Wegner called the Mietendeckel “unlawful” and said there would be a lawsuit to fight it.
Advocates of the Mietendeckel defended the rent measures, like Berlin’s Senator for Economics and a member of the Green Party Ramona Pop.
Pop said Berlin wants to avoid the “urban development” that has happened in cities like London or Paris, “where people are hardly able to live in the inner city and instead are pushed to the outskirts.”
“We want to do the opposite,” Pop said.
The Mietendeckel is designed to freeze rents in Berlin for five years. There are also guidelines on upper limits for rents per square meter, depending on when the apartment building was built and what kind of amenities it has.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.