France: Farmers' Unions Call for End to Roadblocks

    France: Farmers' Unions Call for End to Roadblocks
    Photo: Kiran Ridley/Contributor/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Two of France's largest farmers' unions Thursday called on their peers to lift nationwide roadblocks after the government unveiled a second package of concessions. For two weeks, farmers were protesting across the country against low wages, strict regulations, and what they say is unfair competition from abroad.

    • Arnaud Gaillot, president of the Young Farmers' (JA) Union, called for the blockades to be suspended, while Arnaud Rousseau, head of France's largest farmers' union, FNSEA, welcomed "tangible progress" after the government announced emergency measures to provide financial aid to farmers and wine producers.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    As part of the EU, France can't meet the farmers' demands on its own. However, Paris is taking the farmers' protests seriously and is doing everything it can at the EU level to defend France's and Europe's food sovereignty. Moreover, to maintain competitiveness, France hasn't shied away from putting the issue of agricultural imports from Ukraine on the agenda. The protests are working, and Paris and Brussels are doing what they can.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    These protests address a fundamental problem with the EU: Brussels technocrats are pursuing an alleged "green" future through policies that mainly benefit major retailers and agrochemical corporations. Meanwhile, farmers are facing increasing regulation and are struggling to make a living in the face of rising production costs and dropping revenues. The EU apparatus has detached itself from real people's lives.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that Emmanuel Macron will cease being President of France before 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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