A blockade of Paris risks going against the interests of

A blockade of Paris risks going against the “interests of farmers,” says the minister

Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau said on Sunday he doubted whether blocking road access to Paris would serve the “interests of farmers”, while several of their organizations promised a “siege” of the capital on Monday.

• Also read: French peasants will begin a “siege” of Paris

“It is an act that ultimately punishes Parisians above all. “I am not sure whether closing the entire Île-de-France will serve the interests of farmers,” Mr Fesneau said on BFMTV.

“The blockade of Paris and the Paris region is an act that punishes Parisians above all. However, on the Île-de-France there are people who work, people who work [les agriculteurs] Listen, people who respect them,” argued Mr. Fesneau.

The FNSEA and Young Farmers of the Greater Paris Basin unions announced on Saturday a “siege of the capital for an indefinite period” from Monday at 2 p.m., although the national authorities of the two organizations have not yet decided on the continuation of the movement their profession at the level of the entire country.

“All busy roads leading to the capital will be occupied by farmers,” said the slogan broadcast on Saturday evening.

“Farmers (…) must be able to express their demands, not at the expense of blocking Paris, the Paris region,” stressed the minister.

While his interior colleague Gérald Darmanin had given the prefects instructions for “great moderation” in the face of the farmers' anger on Wednesday evening and asked them to involve the police only as a “last resort”, Mr Fesneau declared on Sunday “zero tolerance”. for violence and humiliation”.

Regarding the Rungis market, which the rural coordination of Lot-et-Garonne wants to block, the Minister of Agriculture noted: “This is where most of the French products come together (…) You know, who are they going to punish?” They will Punish farmers. Because the truth is: if you block Rungis, you block the ability to sell products.”