Farmers Rock European Governments

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Farmers in Europe have been revolting against the government, blocking cities and causing chaos. The main grievances come to pay, subsidies, and regulations imposed by the EU and national governments.

Nowhere have the protests been as big as in France, Europe’s home for protests and revolutions. Reuters explains:

Farmers in France, the EU’s biggest agricultural producer, say they are not being paid enough and are choked by excessive regulation on environmental protection.

Some of their concerns, like competition from cheaper imports and environmental rules, are shared by producers in the rest of the EU while other issues such as food price negotiations are more specific to France.

The French government has begun to grant concessions to the movement. Protesters are nevertheless blocking major cities and calling for greater pressure. France 24 says:

Farmers’ unions, unimpressed by concessions offered by President Emmanuel Macron‘s government, encouraged their members to fight on for improved pay, less red tape and protection from foreign competition.

“I’m so proud of you,” Serge Bousquet-Cassagne, head of the farmers’ association in the southwestern Lot-et-Garonne department, told protesters headed for the wholesale Rungis market south of Paris, a key food distribution platform for the capital.

The French government has nevertheless enacted a red line, and is well versed in dealing with protests and riots. This particular issue is part of a broader movement against free trade and regulations only imposed on Western producers.

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