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Protests by farmers block highways to Paris and elsewhere in France Specific Occasions

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A police officer talks to a farmer throughout the farmers’ protest in Argenteuil, north of Paris. Tractors and different autos with messages in help of agriculture blocked the A15 freeway and a number of the fundamental entry factors to the French capital.

Telmo Pinto/SOPA Photos/Sipa U


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Telmo Pinto/SOPA Photos/Sipa U


A police officer talks to a farmer throughout the farmers’ protest in Argenteuil, north of Paris. Tractors and different autos with messages in help of agriculture blocked the A15 freeway and a number of the fundamental entry factors to the French capital.

Telmo Pinto/SOPA Photos/Sipa U

CHENNEVIERES-LES-LOUVRES, France — For the second day in a row, 1000’s of offended French farmers have blocked main highways main out and in of the French capital. They’re calling it the “siege” of Paris.

The protests are a part of an intensifying standoff between farmers and the French authorities. Farmers have slapped the federal government with an extended checklist of grievances, together with complaints about low wages and what they deem to be unfair international competitors and over-regulation.

To place strain on French authorities, farmers from throughout the nation have surrounded the outskirts of the capital, blocking at the least seven highways with dozens of tractors.

“We’re ready to remain so long as we have to,” says Florian Portemer, a 33-year-old sugar beet farmer, one in all lots of of protesting farmers who’re tenting out on the A1 freeway, only a few miles north of the Charles de Gaulle airport.

To date, the blockages have brought on solely minor delays. The federal government warns {that a} main disruption may depart Paris with solely three days’ price of meals provides.

“Our purpose is not to hassle or to spoil French individuals’s lives, our purpose is to place strain on the federal government to quickly discover options out of the disaster,” says Arnaud Rousseau, president of the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants, or FNSEA, one of many nation’s largest farming unions.

However to get the federal government’s consideration, farmers argue they might not have a alternative.

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Farmers participate in a protest known as by native branches of main farm unions, blocking the A35 freeway with tractors close to Strasbourg, jap France, Jan. 30, amid nationwide protests known as by farmers’ unions.

Frederick Florin/AFP through Getty Photos


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Frederick Florin/AFP through Getty Photos


Farmers participate in a protest known as by native branches of main farm unions, blocking the A35 freeway with tractors close to Strasbourg, jap France, Jan. 30, amid nationwide protests known as by farmers’ unions.

Frederick Florin/AFP through Getty Photos

“Our bills are going up and up,” says Portemer. “There is a basic feeling of being fed up. A suffocation linked to all these costs and tight requirements.”

By tight requirements, he means France’s sophisticated net of bureaucratic rules. For instance, farmers say they’re annoyed with European Union subsidy guidelines — specifically, a brand new requirement to depart 4% of farmland fallow.

Others have complained about skyrocketing power and fertilizer costs.

Then there’s what they are saying is unfair competitors from different international locations, which have much less strict rules. French farmers argue this places them at an enormous drawback, with retailers favoring cheaper imports that are not topic to the identical controls.

Talking earlier than France’s decrease home of parliament, the Nationwide Meeting, on Tuesday, the newly appointed Prime Minister Gabriel Attal promised the federal government would implement controls on the quantity of international produce introduced into France and requested the farmers to finish their protest.

“We have to take heed to the farmers, who’re working and are anxious about their future and their livelihood,” Attal instructed lawmakers.

The federal government has additionally vowed to offer farmers emergency funding and to ensure them a residing wage. However this hasn’t been sufficient to persuade the farmers to pack up simply but.

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French farmers watch a broadcast of French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal delivering his authorities’s coverage assertion on the Nationwide Meeting, as they participate in a roadblock protest on the A6 freeway close to Lisses, south of Paris.

Julien De Rosa/AFP through Getty Photos


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Julien De Rosa/AFP through Getty Photos


French farmers watch a broadcast of French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal delivering his authorities’s coverage assertion on the Nationwide Meeting, as they participate in a roadblock protest on the A6 freeway close to Lisses, south of Paris.

Julien De Rosa/AFP through Getty Photos

An opinion ballot final week confirmed 90% of French residents again their protest, which began within the south of France on Jan. 18.

Among the protesting farmers inform NPR they’re barely incomes 1,200 euros (about $1,300) a month and are struggling.

However the farmers additionally say their solidarity has by no means been stronger. Many have despatched up tents, barbecues and transportable bathrooms on the blocked highways as they put together to dig in for the approaching days.

On the A1 freeway, farmers convivially gathered over beer, grilled meats and digital pop music.

“It is a lovely demonstration,” says 50-year-old Pierre de Wilde, a fourth-generation farmer from northern France who’s tenting out on the freeway along with his 22-year-old son. He says it is the way forward for his children that makes the protests matter. “That is precisely why we’re all right here…to help the subsequent technology of farmers to return.”


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