French Farmers Plan Siege On Paris

The French government has been trying to appease farmers to prevent a significant blockade of Paris this week. But the leaders of the agricultural unions have shown no signs of backing down from their ongoing protests over pricing, regulations, and taxes.

Marc Fesneau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture, has promised further measures to address the concerns of farmers throughout the country and the European Union. In the last few decades, conventional rules have been putting “sticks in the wheels” and increasing farmers’ workloads, claims Attal.

Union leaders in the agriculture industry, including FNSEA’s Arnaud Rousseau, have repeatedly stated their determination to go on a full-scale strike. Farmers’ unhappiness with environmental regulations and the recent increases in the diesel fuel tax have sparked protests across Europe. Even though the Common Agriculture Policy offers enormous subsidies to the industry, the far-right has been attempting to capitalize on farmers’ dissatisfaction with EU bureaucrats and immigration.

To show their opposition to the EU’s negotiations with the South American trade bloc Mercosur, French protesters are blocking long stretches of road with tractors to slow traffic. The farmers’ movement also demands better compensation for farmers’ produce, less bureaucracy, and protection against cheap imports. Agricultural waste has also been dumped at the doors of government buildings.

Farmers in the Netherlands clashed violently with police as protests over government plans to buy polluting farms in sensitive natural areas grew across Europe in recent weeks. Despite Attal’s early concessions—such as retaining the low tax scheme on farm fuel—the southern French farmers met with him on Friday and still promised to continue protesting.

The incursion of Russian forces into Ukraine has worsened the global food situation, and the domino effect of disputes in France is only one more indicator of this. Increased prices of inputs like fertilizer and energy caused by the conflict have cut into the profits of some French farmers, making it impossible for them to continue farming.