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    French Farmers Bring Tractors to Paris, Pressuring Macron Ahead of Agriculture Fair


    French Farmers Bring Tractors to Paris, Pressuring Macron Ahead of Agriculture Fair

    French farmers rolled their tractors into central Paris on Friday, intensifying pressure on President Emmanuel Macron as part of their ongoing protest against environmental regulations, competition from cheap imports, and low incomes. This demonstration comes ahead of the Salon de l’Agriculture, a popular national agricultural fair set to open on Saturday in Paris.

    President Macron, who had initially promised to meet with farmers to address their concerns, later cancelled the scheduled event, prompting further discontent among agricultural workers. Farmers across France have been part of a broader movement within Europe, advocating for reforms and voicing grievances against government policies.

    Damien Greffin, a cereal farmer and regional leader of the main farmers’ union FNSEA, explained that the intention behind driving tractors into Paris was to exert pressure on authorities ahead of the agricultural fair.

    Last month, farmers staged nationwide protests, leading the government to pledge reforms. However, recent measures announced by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal failed to appease protesters, shifting the focus onto President Macron, who is expected to attend the agricultural fair on Saturday.

    Macron’s plan to hold a debate at the fair, which initially included a controversial ecology group, Soulevements de la Terre, faced criticism from various quarters. After backlash, Macron’s office retracted the invitation to the group, but the damage had been done, with farming unions expressing dissatisfaction with the handling of the situation.

    In response to calls for a boycott, Macron ultimately cancelled the debate and opted to meet with farmers’ unions separately before the fair’s opening. Despite promises from Attal to address agriculture as a national interest, farmers continue to demand more substantial action, resorting to road blockades, tire fires, and protests at supermarkets.

    Authorities are grappling with the challenges posed by the farmers’ movement, with reports indicating difficulties in controlling protests in some regions. Around 30 tractors entered central Paris on Friday, converging near Les Invalides before dispersing in the afternoon. Another convoy later arrived near the fair site in the southwest of the capital.

    The FNSEA acknowledged the political significance of this year’s fair but expressed hope that it would also serve as a time for celebration alongside addressing critical agricultural issues.

    Sources By Agencies

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