Latvia: 2,000 farmers staged protest rallies in 16 cities

Around 2,000 farmers protested across Latvia against the government’s agriculture policies on 5 February 2024, according to the Farmers’ Parliament (ZSA), LSM reported. Police said that the protests passed peacefully with no significant incidents, LETA reported. Farmers staged rallies with agricultural machinery in altogether 16 cities, calling for a ban on imports of Russian and Belarusian food products, lower VAT on locally grown fruit, berries, and vegetables, and less bureaucracy. ZSA expects to meet with Prime Minister Evika Silina to discuss the demands. The organisation warned that it could stage another mass protest in Riga on 12 February 2024 if the demands are not satisfied. Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Armands Krauze insisted that the government had already met many of the demands, LSM reported.