Angry French farmers storm into agriculture fair in Paris

Angry French farmers storm into agriculture fair in Paris
Angry French farmers storm into agriculture fair in Paris

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Farmers protest inside the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre on the day of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the International Agriculture Fair (Salon International de L’agriculture) during its inauguration in Paris, France, February 24, 2024. — Reuters pic

PARIS, Feb 24 — A group of French farmers stormed into a major Paris farm fair today ahead of a planned visit by President Emmanuel Macron amid anger over costs, red tape and green regulations.

Facing dozens of policemen inside the trade fair, the farmers were shouting and booing, calling for the resignation of Macron and using expletives aimed at the French leader.

“This is our home!”, they shouted, as lines of French CRS riot police sought to contain the demonstration. There were some clashes with demonstrators and the police arrested at least one of them, a Reuters witness saw.

Macron, who is having breakfast with French farmers’ union leaders, was scheduled to walk within the alleys of the trade fair afterwards.

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He cancelled a debate he wanted to hold at the farm fair today with farmers, food processors and retailers, after farmers unions said they would not show up.

Farmers have been protesting across Europe, calling for better income, less bureaucracy and denouncing unfair competition from cheap Ukrainian goods imported to help Kyiv’s war effort.

The Paris farm show is a major event in France, attracting around 600,000 visitors over nine days.

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Farmers’ protests, which have spread across Europe, come as the far right, for which farmers represent a growing constituency, is seen making gains in June’s European Parliament elections.

French farmers earlier this month largely suspended protests that included blocking highways and dumping manure in front of public buildings after Prime Minister Gabriel Attal promised new measures worth €400 million (RM2.07 billion).

But protests resumed this week to put pressure on the government to provide more help and deliver on promises, ahead of the Paris farm show. — Reuters

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