French farmers' protests block highways around Paris

World Tuesday 30/January/2024 15:36 PM
By: Xinhua
French farmers' protests block highways around Paris

Paris: French farmers blocked motorways around Paris on Monday afternoon as they continued protesting against rising prices, red tape and "unfair competition" from other countries.

Eight "blocking points" have been set up on major highways around the French capital. Almost 800 tractors have surrounded the city, with farmers vowing to "starve Paris." According to the gendarmerie, 30 departments and 16 highways have been affected by the farmers' movement across the country.

The French farmers started their movement nearly two weeks ago to protest against decreasing income and increasing rules, regulations and paperwork. Some complained that unfair trade policies had put them in unfair competition with farmers from other countries not subject to the same rules.

French Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau has announced that "new measures will be taken tomorrow." Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron called a meeting with several ministers on Monday afternoon to discuss the situation, his office said.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal had announced an initial series of measures in response to farmers' anger, including putting brakes on the rising cost of diesel for farm machinery use. He also promised to seek to simplify administrative tasks for farmers and inject subsidies into organic farming. However, these measures did not extinguish farmers' fury.

Attal said on Sunday that the initial measures were "just the beginning," and pledged to "continue day after day, week after week, to make progress."