French Farmers Plan More Protests in Growing Clash With Macron

(Bloomberg) — France’s farmers continued to block major roads across the country on Wednesday, demanding urgent action from President Emmanuel Macron’s government to cut back costs and burdensome regulation.

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Areas around the southern cities of Bordeaux and Lyon continue to see the worst disruption with tractors and farm vehicles blocking major highways. Farmers from most regions plan more action to exacerbate traffic around the country in the coming days, Arnaud Rousseau, the head of the FNSEA union said.

The protesters have demands ranging from more from financial support to offset the cost of European Union environmental rules to less regulation of their day-to-day operations. They are also struggling with the impact of inflation on energy and fuel prices.

“Once the fuse is lit, farmers can follow this to the end — there is no sense of retreat,” Rousseau said on France 2 television.

The protests in France echo similar tensions across Europe, including in Germany and the Netherlands, over the paring back of subsidies and the approval of European laws to protect the environment. Far-right parties have latched onto such issues and are using them in their messaging ahead of European Parliament elections set for June.

“I’ve asked the government to be fully mobilized to provide concrete solutions to your difficulties,” Macron said in a post on X Tuesday.

Rousseau said the FNSEA will unveil a list of around 40 precise demands later Wednesday to address 20 years of measures. The government’s response, which is expected on Friday, must contain actionable measures, he said.

“People are proud of where they live and what they produce, and that’s what is making them angry,” Fesneau said. “Today our determination is total and we must get results.”

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