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Polish interior minister vows action against protesters spilling Ukrainian grain

28.02.2024 12:00
Poland's interior and administration minister has condemned a series of recent incidents in which protesting farmers spilled Ukrainian grain from trucks and trains, vowing to take action against those responsible.
Polands Interior and Administration Minister Marcin Kierwiński.
Poland's Interior and Administration Minister Marcin Kierwiński. Photo: PAP/Szymon Pulcyn

"It is unacceptable what happened in several places where grain was spilled during transport," Marcin Kierwiński told public broadcaster Polish Radio on Wednesday, declaring a zero-tolerance policy against any such acts.

He said police were "actively responding" to such incidents and working to ensure that "perpetrators are brought to justice."

Kierwiński also told Polish Radio that a massive demonstration staged by farmers in Warsaw a day earlier was peaceful "on the whole" as protesters called for changes to European Union agricultural policies, including the bloc's flagship Green Deal energy transition strategy.

"In a few cases, police reports will be sent to prosecutors ... but on the whole the protest was very peaceful," Kierwiński said, praising the organizers for "responsible behavior."

He also thanked police for ensuring "the orderly nature of the demonstration."

The interior minister also touched on the broader issue of farmers' discontent, which he said was linked to the policies of Poland's previous government.

"What we are facing now is a terrible legacy of PiS," he said, hitting out at the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which was in power from 2015 to 2023.

Kierwiński argued that Polish farmers were "de facto protesting against the chaos that PiS wrought on them" during its eight-year rule.

Thousands of farmers from across Poland converged on Warsaw on Tuesday to voice their discontent with EU agricultural policies.

Organizers said up to 50,000 farmers participated in the protest to demand the scrapping of the EU's Green Deal plan, tighter border controls to curb cheap agri-food imports, and the protection of animal husbandry in Poland.

Police put the number of protesters at around 10,000, state news agency PAP reported.


Source: PAP, IAR