Friday 03 April 2020

Farmers camp out in The Hague, plan to resume protesting as MPs debate

Photo: Molly Quell

Hundreds of protesting farmers have spent the night on the Malieveld close to the parliamentary complex in The Hague and plan to resume their campaign against the government’s strategy to deal with nitrogen-based pollution on Thursday.

Some 300 people, both farmers and locals, turned up for a communal breakfast organised by Famers Defence Force, which is behind the protests.

Between 20,000 and 25,000 farmers are now thought to have taken part in Wednesday’s protest against the government’s plans to cut nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions and some 8,000 tractors made the journey to The Hague, causing chaos on the roads.

Agriculture is responsible for some 40% of nitrogen-based pollution, researchers say. Farmers say they have doubts about the way the impact is being calculated and that they are being unfairly singled out.

Police have again taken a high-visibility approach and army trucks are still being used to seal off roads to the Binnenhof parliamentary complex, reporters said.

MPs are due to debate the government’s strategy to deal with excess nitrogren with farm minister Carola Schouten later on Thursday.

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