On May 23, 2012, hundreds of farmers slowed traffic on roads across the Czech Republic with over two thousand pieces of agricultural machinery, mainly tractors.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: EZ1203
Czech Farmers Protest
Agriculture in the Economy
Michael Henney, Agricultural Attaché
Jana Mikulasova, Agricultural Specialist
On May 23 hundreds of farmers across the country took to their tractors to protest against cancellation
of the fuel tax benefit and introduction of an excise tax on still wines.
On May 23, 2012, hundreds of farmers slowed traffic on roads across the Czech Republic with over two
thousand pieces of agricultural machinery, mainly tractors. The country-wide farmers’ protest was
sparked by proposed new austerity measures which include two particular onerous changes in the tax
system: cancellation of the fuel subsidy and introduction of an excise tax on still wines. The austerity
package, approved by the Prime Minister on May 23, moves now to the Czech Chamber of Deputies for
vote and then to the President for a signature. If authorized, provisions would enter into force in
Currently, Czech farmers are eligible for a refund of 60 percent of the excise tax paid on diesel fuel
purchased for agricultural use. Cancellation of this tax benefit will result in farmers paying
approximately 11 CZK (US $0.55) more per 1 liter of diesel. Annualized, the lost benefit to the farmer
community would amount to between 1.6 to 1.8 billion CZK (US $80.5 to $90.6 million). According to
Jan Veleba, President of Agrarian Chamber, all other EU states except for Slovakia have tax benefits for
fuel in place.
The package of austerity measures approved by the Prime Minister also introduces an excise tax on still
wines of 10 CZK (US $0.5) per liter. Currently wines are exempt from such tax. Small wine producers,
which create approximately one quarter of the country’s wine production, will be exempt from the tax.