In a move reminiscent of the widespread protests in Germany, French Farmers blocked roads in parts of their country, in a move convincing enough to put the fragile new Emmanuel Macron government to rapidly cave to their demands.
But after a meeting with new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, the farmers announced that they will continue to protest pending effective government action.
“‘We told him (Attal) we wouldn’t settle for words’, Arnaud Rousseau, head of FNSEA, France’s largest farm union, told reporters after the meeting. ‘We told (him) that, to build confidence, he needed to go into the field. He committed to meeting farmers in the field in the coming days’.”
Farmers in France are protesting over pretty much the same grievances shared by farmers all across Europe: price pressures, escalating taxes, and crippling green regulation.
“They cite a government tax on tractor fuel, cheap imports, water storage issues, price pressures from retailers, and government red tape among their grievances.
President Emmanuel Macron is wary of farmers’ growing support for the far right ahead of the European Parliament elections in June. The government has put a draft farming law on hold, saying it wanted to hear from farming representatives first to include additional measures to support the sector.”
France is the EU’s biggest agricultural producer, and farmers have consistently made themselves heard through disruptive protests.
“Many farmers say their livelihoods are threatened as food retailers step up pressure to bring down prices after a run of high inflation. Fearing a spillover from farmer protests in Germany, Poland, and Romania, the government withdrew a draft farming law planned for debate this week and invited farming representatives for talks.”
The ‘green’ aspect of the problems faced by agriculture was mentioned, as Arnaud Gaillot, head of the Young Farmers called for a regulatory pause, saying ‘bureaucracy was eating up too much of farmers’ time and that regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions were too much‘.
“‘I think we could be on the eve of a big farmers’ movement if there are no answers. Our European [farmer] neighbors, with whom we are in touch, are calling us’, he added.”
As a direct result of the protest, France’s agriculture minister caved and postponed introducing a bill to reform the agriculture sector.
GB News reported:
“In 2018 the price of diesel was one of the sparks for the Yellow Vest protests, with the French government keen for the situation not to escalate in the same way.”
Macron is afraid of losing the farmers to the rightwing National Rally party in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
Jordan Bardella, President of National Rally: ‘There is a growing anger against the EU and Macron’s Europe, who wanted the death of our agriculture’.
“[Bardella] claimed that French farmers are exposed to unfair competition from products from around the world that do not respect the strict standards they have to observe.”
Peter Sweden: IT’S SPREADING – Massive Farmers Protest in Germany (Video)
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