Growing French farm protests over low wages and other grievances were struck by tragedy Tuesday when a woman was killed and her husband and daughter were injured in a collision at traffic at a protest barricade, authorities said.
A car crashed into hay bales placed by protesters on a road and hit three people before colliding with a tractor trailer, prosecutor Olivier Mouysset said in a statement.
The deadly crash in southwestern France has given a dramatic turn to a growing protest movement among French farmers, who have called for higher wages and criticized what they see as excessive regulation, rising costs and other problems.
The protests have intensified in recent weeks with traffic cuts, foul-smelling organic waste being thrown in front of government offices and other actions. Farmers also overturned traffic signs in protest of what they saw as useless agricultural policies.
France is one of the agricultural powers in Europe, with influential pressure groups but also a lot of discontent among farmers, who say they have problems making ends meet despite working long hours to feed themselves. the country and increase their exports of their products. .
The government of French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to address the concerns of farmers before their complaints turn into a wider movement like the 2019 yellow vest protests against economic injustice, which have eroded popularity. said Macron.
Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, newly appointed by Macron in a government shake-up this month, wrote on social media on Tuesday that “being a farmer means working tirelessly. It works for to us, the French. We are and will continue to be by your side.”
The woman was hit and killed in the Ariège region of southwestern France by a farmer, Attal said.
“All our farmers are mourning. “Our country was shocked,” he said.
Three people were traveling in the car when it crashed into a straw barricade in Ariège, in Pamiers, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
The woman who died in the early morning crash was in her 30s, the statement said. Her husband, in his forties, suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized, while the “worrisome” condition of their 14-year-old daughter required an evacuation by helicopter so she could receive medical attention. a hospital, said the prosecutor, who did not. giving more details about their injuries.
The collision did not appear to be intentional, the statement said. The police detained the three occupants of the vehicle for questioning.