Farmers39 protest in France is easing although there are still

Farmers' protest in France is easing, although there are still 40 active blockades THE FOOD TECH

Paris, (EFE).- The protest of French farmers and ranchers fizzled out this Saturday, a day after the government's announcements of favoring the sector. However, around 40 road and motorway blockades are still active, some of them near the Spanish border.

According to a count by the French authorities, 38 blockades were registered this Saturday, in which 700 farmers took part – who set up barricades and positioned their trucks and tractors as barriers – compared to 112 on Friday, when 17,500 professionals from the sector were shown.

The A64 motorway, where the protest movement began, which in some respects was reminiscent of that of the “yellow vests” of 2018, began to clear after more than a week of mobilization.

According to live data from Bison Futé, the traffic information agency, the A63 motorway, which begins at the Basque Country's Spanish border, was no longer closed to traffic as it was on Friday, although there were problems with traffic jams.

However, the national highway 22, which connects Andorra, and the A9 motorway, which connects southeastern France with the Spanish region of Catalonia, remained closed to traffic. In the case of the A9, at three points: near Perpignan, Montpellier and Nîmes.

Many of the protesters complain about imports of agricultural products from Spain, saying they represent unfair competition due to their low price and their environmental standards are worse than those of France.

Although French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal managed to calm tempers this Friday with a series of announcements, including a tax exemption for agricultural diesel, the main agricultural associations have asked to continue the mobilization as the measures did not go far enough.

Young Farmers (JJAA), together with the powerful National Federation of Agricultural Operators' Unions (FNSEA), one of the most representative representatives of the sector, caused confusion this Saturday when it declared through one of its representatives that they would start the Block access to Paris from this Sunday.

The statement was later qualified by the organization itself, which assured that it was a measure under discussion.

This Saturday, some actions were also carried out by farmers against big stores, which they accuse of buying at very low prices to achieve high profit margins, and tributes were paid to the 35-year-old farmer's wife and her 14-year-old daughter this week were run over and killed during a protest.

Avoid an uprising like that of the Yellow Vests

Less than six months before the European elections, in which Marine Le Pen's far-right favorite is, the French government of pro-European Emmanuel Macron wants to prevent the peasant revolt from reaching the reach of the “yellow vests” at all costs. , the 2018 uprising of lower-middle-class semi-rural areas that got Macron into trouble.

For this reason, Prime Minister Attal quickly accepted several of the sector's demands and ordered security forces to intervene as little as possible, even though protesters have set fire to at least three public buildings in recent days.

In addition to the agricultural diesel exemption – which had sparked the protest movement – Attal committed to negotiating in Brussels a new exemption from the obligation to leave 4% of the land fallow and the acceleration of agricultural policy payments. Common (CAP), of which France is the first beneficiary with 9,000 million euros per year as the Union's leading producer.

Likewise, the head of the executive reiterated that France will not ratify the free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur – which he described as the “law of the jungle” – and announced measures to relax environmental regulations that many farmers complain about and which the The EU promotes this in its Green Deal.

Specifically, the government has indicated that certain Brussels regulations are affecting the agri-food industry in France, sectors that represent 3.4% of the country's GDP and employ 5% of the workforce.

We recommend: French farmers continue their protests with road closures