The protest of French farmers and ranchers ended on Saturday, a day after the Government’s announcements. to satisfy the sector. However, about 40 road and highway blockades are still active, some near the Spanish border.
According to a count made by the French authorities, 38 blockades were recorded this Saturday in which 700 farmers participated -which put up barricades and placed their trucks and tractors as obstacles-, compared to 112 on Friday, when 17,500 professionals from the sector showed up.
The A64 highway, where the movement of protest that remembers some points that in the “Yellow Vest” in 2018, began to clear, after more than a week of agitation.
According to live data from Bison Futé, the traffic information agency, The A63 motorway that starts at the Spanish border in the Basque Country is no longer closed to traffic like Friday, even if there are traffic problems.
However, the National 22, which connects Andorra, and the A9 motorway, which connects southeastern France with the Spanish region of Catalonia, remain closed to traffic. In the case of the A9 in three points: around Perpignan, Montpellier and Nimes.
Many of the protesters complained about the entry of agricultural products from Spainbecause they consider that it represents unfair competition due to their low prices and that their environmental standards are worse than the French.
However The French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, managed to calm things down with a series of announcements this Friday, including a tax exemption for agricultural diesel.the main agricultural organizations asked to continue the mobilization considering that the measures are not too far.
Young Farmers (JJAA)one of the most representative of the sector with the powerful National Federation of Agricultural Operators’ Unions (FNSEA), This Saturday he spread confusion by saying through one of its representatives, that they will start blocking access to Paris this Sunday.
The latter statement is qualified of the organization itself, assuring that this is an action that is on the table.
This Saturday, Farmers also have actions against big storeswho were accused of buying at very low prices to make a profit, and they honored the 35-year-old farmer and his 14-year-old daughter who were run over during the protest this week.
Avoid rebellion like that of the ‘Yellow Vest’
Less than six months before the European elections, where the right side of the Marine Le Pen is the favoritethe French government of the pro-European Emmanuel Macron wants to prevent at all costs the peasant uprising from reaching the ‘Yellow Vests’, the 2018 rebellion of the lower middle class in semi-rural areas that put Macron in trouble.
Thus, Prime Minister Attal readily accepted the many demands of the sector while he ordered the security forces to intervene as much as possible, despite the fact that protesters have set fire to at least three public buildings in recent days.
In addition to the agricultural diesel exemption -what ignited the protest movement-, Attal committed to negotiations in Brussels on a new derogation from the obligation to leave 4% of the land undigested. and the acceleration of the payment of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), where France is the first beneficiary with 9,000 million euros per year as the leading producer of the bloc.
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 which many farmers complain about and which the EU promotes in its Green Deal.