Emmanuel Macron caves to French farmers after furious protests

Emmanuel Macron caves to French farmers after furious protests

Macron's pension reform sparked outrage in France last year

GB News
Dimitris Kouimtsidis

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

Published: 22/01/2024

- 19:48

France's agriculture minister decided to postpone introducing a bill to reform the agriculture sector after farmers took to the streets

Emmanuel Macron has caved to French farmers after furious protests took place across the country.

The farmers took to the streets for weeks, protesting against taxes and regulations.

The issues revolved around rising costs, pesticide bans, as well as other regulations that they claimed meant they faced unfair competition from other countries that don't face the same regulations.

In 2018 the price of diesel was one of the sparks for the Yellow Vest protests, with the French government keen for the situation not to escalate in the same way.

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron was forced to cave to the farmers


In the southern region of Occitanie, one group of farm workers started a blockade of the A64 motorway late on Thursday at Carbonne.

On Saturday, dozens of tractors were still blocking access, with about 100 protesters gathered around braziers at their makeshift camp.

Benoit Fourcade, a 50-year-old cereal farmer, said: "You get to a point when you can't take any more."

"We are not happy putting people out like this," said Nicolas Suspene, a 44-year-old farmer who is also the mayor of a nearby village, before adding: "But how else do we make ourselves heard?"


Emmanuel Macron

In 2018 the Yellow Vest Protests caused Macron a lot of issues


Following on from that, on Sunday, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau told the Grand Jury programme that he would postpone the legislation in order to resolve some legal issues.

The goal was to have lawmakers debate the bill "in the first semester of 2024".

The French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, spoke at a public meeting in the town of Saint-Laurent-d'Agny on Saturday, stating that agriculture was an "absolutely major subject... that I take very seriously."

Macron is wary of losing the support of the farmers to the far-right National Rally party in the upcoming European Parliament elections in June.

Around the same time that Attal was giving his speech, Jordan Bardella, President of National Rally, was doing the same at a dairy farm in Queryac, in the southwest of France, denouncing Macron and his policies.

He declared his sympathy for the farmers, who he said were sick of the strictures imposed by "Macron's Europe".

Bardella added that there is a growing anger against the EU and "Macron's Europe", who wanted the "death of our agriculture".

He claimed that French farmers are exposed to unfair competition from products from around the world that do not respect the strict standards they have to observe.

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