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French farmers hold another day of protest across the country

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French farmers hold another day of protest across the country
AFP
08:07 CEST+02:00
French farmers organised another day of protest across France on Tuesday, this time targeting prefectures.

Farmers in France continued their protests on Tuesday to once again show their anger at the government, which it accuses of failing to act to protect their livelihoods.

Unions representing farmers have called on members to congregate outside prefectures in each départément across the country to demand President Emmanuel Macron respond to their concerns.

Their goal is once again to send "a strong message to the president of the Republic to demand a response to the issues that we have raised since the beginning," said Jérôme Despey from the FNSEA union.

Farmers' unions say their protest is over three things: "Agribashing, which damages the image of our daily business, trade agreements aimed at importing food that we do not want and distortions of competition that are slowly killing French agriculture."

Farmers are also against increasing demands for them to avoid using pesticides.

French farmers have already shown their anger with the lighting of a series of bonfires across the country aimed at highlighting their plight.

And two weeks ago they blocked roads around the country causing traffic chaos in many parts.

While farmer's insist Tuesday's protest is not aimed at blocking the country, several go-slows have been organised and prefectures themselves will likely be disrupted.

The issue of pesticide use in agriculture has become a hot topic in France, with dozens of environmental protesters staging weekly protests and calling for stricter controls on the use of chemicals.

France has one of the highest levels of pesticide use in Europe and there have been a number of health scares linked to their use.

But as the government moves to enact further restrictions, farmers say they are being 'demonised' by the green lobby.

 

Damien Greffin, president of the FNSEA Ile-de-France said previously: "The agricultural world is stigmatised on a daily basis.”

Farming unions have already voiced anger at the Ceta - the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada that substantially lowers tariffs on imports including food. French farmers say they will be unable to compete with cheaper imports.

 
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