Posted: 05.03.2024 11:00:00

FNSEA President warned of new protests

Arnaud Rousseau, the President of the National Federation of Agricultural Holders' Unions (FNSEA), warned of the possibility of new blocking of motorways and other protests by farmers if France’s authorities fail to soon provide concrete solutions to the problems in the industry raised in recent weeks, TASS reports


The representative of the country’s farmers voiced the possibility of new protests in his talk with the BFMTV channel. “It is necessary not just to wait [for blocking roads], this will definitely be done upon the local participants’ initiative. We will continue to hold actions in the next 15 days and further,” he said, adding that it is the farmers who must ultimately decide whether all the requirements are met and whether the authorities have taken enough measures to save French agriculture. “We are waiting for a new law, we are waiting for the concrete implementation of promises,” the FNSEA President concluded.

Mr. Rousseau denied involvement in organising an action on March 1st at the International Agricultural Salon, during which Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau was pelted with eggs. He stressed that he does not support such methods of disagreement, adding that he personally phoned the farmers who participated in that action and expressed his protest to them.

“We have 150 thousand active members in FNSEA, and together with former farmers we have more than 200 thousand people. It is impossible to say that the FNSEA head can control everyone alone," Mr. Rousseau noted.

Mass demonstrations of farmers took place in France throughout January due to the dissatisfaction with falling incomes because of inflation and increased exports of agricultural products from Ukraine after the abolition of duties by the European Union. French farmers also insisted on simplifying bureaucratic procedures and less stringent regulation of agriculture. In protest, farmers drove their tractors to block major highways and gathered for rallies in front of government buildings.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced several packages of possible measures. Among them is the abolition of the increase in the excise tax on diesel fuel for special equipment. Some farmers, including FNSEA representatives, notified about the suspension of protest actions, requesting that the measures promised by the government be formalised in writing by passing a separate law through Parliament. While visiting the International Agricultural Salon on February 24th, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the relevant bill should be presented on March 20th at a meeting of the Council of Ministers.