French farmers aim to put Paris ‘under siege’ in tractor protest

A woman waves a French flag past a tractor as farmers take part in a nation-wide day of action in Agen, southwerstern France on Jan.
Published January 29, 2024

The French government on Friday dropped plans that fueled the protests, but farmers’ organizations said that was not enough and pledged to step up the pressure.

France said it would push to ease European Union environmental regulations on fallow farmland this week, as tractors blocked major highways out of Paris on Monday and nationwide farmers’ protests intensified.

The French government on Friday dropped plans to gradually reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel and promised a reduction in red tape and an easing of environmental regulations, but farmers’ organizations said that was not enough and pledged to step up the pressure.

The head of France’s biggest farming organization said farmers would block all major highways out of Paris at about 18 miles from the center. In Brussels too, traffic on the ring road around the capital was disrupted by angry farmers.

“What we have understood is that as long as the protest is far from Paris, the message is not getting through,” Arnaud Rousseau, head of the FNSEA union, said on RTL radio.

France’s two biggest farmers unions said in a statement that their members based in areas surrounding the Paris region would seek to block all major roads to the capital, with the aim of putting the city “under siege,” starting Monday afternoon.

Taxi drivers were also protesting in several French cities over new tariffs for medical transport, which could add to traffic chaos in Paris.



RELATED: French farmers aim to put Paris ‘under siege’ in tractor protest. Activists hurl soup at ‘Mona Lisa’

Published January 29, 2024

PARIS (AP) — France’s interior ministry on Sunday ordered a large deployment of security forces around Paris as angry farmers threatened to head toward the capital, hours after climate activists hurled soup at the glass protecting the “Mona Lisa” painting at the Louvre Museum.

French farmers are putting pressure on the government to respond to their demands for better remuneration for their produce, less red tape and protection against cheap imports.

Speaking after an emergency meeting on Sunday evening, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said 15,000 police officers are being deployed, mostly in the Paris region.

Darmanin said he ordered security forces to “prevent any blockade” of Rungis International Market — which supplies the capital and surrounding region with much of its fresh food — and the Paris airports as well as to ban any convoy of farmers from entering the capital and any other big city. He said that helicopters will monitor convoys of tractors.

Darmanin said possibly all eight highways heading to Paris will be blocked Monday from midday and urged car and truck drivers to “anticipate” blockades. “Difficulties will obviously be very important,” he said.

Farmers of the Rural Coordination union in the Lot-et-Garonne region, where the protests originated, said they plan to use their tractors Monday to head toward the Rungis International Market.



RELATED: PARIS UNDER SIEGE: Farmers Block All Highways to the City – Security Forces on High Alert – Minister Vows ‘No Tractor Will Enter the Capital’ (VIDEOS)

Published January 28, 2024

The widespread farmers’ protests happening all over Europe are having in France one of its most dramatic chapter, as tractors and cars are set to block all highways around Paris, and the security forces are on alert.

In a very typical move, President Emmanuel Macron and his government have ‘caved’ to some farmers demands, but this time around the agricultural workers seem ready to go the extra mile in their protest over low produce prices, high fixed costs, growing red tape and the crippling ‘green’ regulations that expose them to exports from foreign countries.

Reuters reported:

“Farmers in France, the European Union’s biggest agricultural producer, have complained of unfair competition from rivals in more lightly regulated countries. Over the last week, they have set up roadblocks on motorways to highlight their cause. They have also damaged property, including local government offices.


Some farmers’ unions called for protesters to set up transport roadblocks around the capital on Monday, and to target the Rungis food market near Paris.

‘Our aim is to encircle Paris’, farmer Daniel Faucheux told BFM TV, as he prepared to travel to the capital in a convoy of farmers’ vehicles and tractors.”


Paris police increased security around Rungis market and the Paris Roissy airport, including the use of armored vehicles.

“Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said those measures were to ensure no tractor could get into Paris, but he nevertheless warned of disruption on Monday in the Ile-de-France region, which covers Paris and the nearby suburbs. He added that around 15,000 police would be used as part of the security operation.”

All this happens to the background of upcoming European elections in June. Rightwing parties are predicted to make big gains, and have garnered a lot of farmer support.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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