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Farmers expand protests in France Barron's

Agricultural protests intensified in France on Wednesday to demand a “swift response” from the government to their demands, a day after the deaths of a farmer and her daughter who were run over by a roadblock.

“The determination is absolute. All departments will take measures, with more or less permanent measures,” said the leader of the largest agricultural union FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau, on Franceinfo radio.

The union leader confirmed that the aim is to obtain “quick answers” ​​from the government of President Emmanuel Macron and to this end will present a list of about forty demands on Wednesday evening.

Fallow land, use of pesticides, European environmental standards, fuel prices, trade agreements like the one negotiated between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur… The list of points of criticism varies depending on the union.

But they all share the same concern for the future of an emblematic sector in France, between the desire to produce and export and the need to reduce its impact on biodiversity and the climate.

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Early on Wednesday, farmers aboard at least 200 tractors invaded Bordeaux's (southwest) ring road, blocking traffic on this vital link between Spain and Paris.

“The price of fuel, all the taxes and even those of future generations… They don't make you want to settle down,” Yoan Joannic, a 20-year-old farmer, told AFP, moved by the death of the farmer and her daughter.

The government is intensifying its contacts with farmers in the face of an expansion of protests that could lead to the blocking of access to the Channel Tunnel linking France to the United Kingdom this Wednesday.

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The Prime Minister Gabriel Attal met with the various trade unions and presented before the Assembly (Lower House) measures that could be implemented quickly, such as better compensation for farmers from the giants of the agri-food industry and distribution.

Other EU countries such as Germany, Poland, Romania and the Netherlands recorded similar protests, a move that worries Brussels as European Parliament elections approach in June.