French Farmers Unions Urge Cease to Blockades, Yet Unyielding Movement Vows to Persist

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Two of the main farming unions in France have urged their members to end the tractor blockades that have disrupted traffic and transport across the country for weeks, after the government announced a series of measures to address their grievances. However, the unions also warned that the movement was not over and that they would continue to protest in other ways until their demands were met.

The FNSEA and the Young Farmers’ union, which together represent about 70% of French farmers, said that they appreciated the government’s efforts to help the sector, which has been struggling with low prices, high costs, environmental regulations, and foreign competition. The government’s pledges include better protection of the domestic market, more aid for farmers in difficulty, and a reduction of administrative burdens.

However, the unions also said that the government’s proposals were not enough to solve the long-term problems of the sector, and that they would keep up the pressure on the authorities to implement concrete actions. They said that the movement was not limited to France, but was part of a wider European discontent among farmers who feel neglected and mistreated by the EU policies and institutions.

The farmers’ protests have highlighted the deepening crisis of the agricultural sector in Europe, which accounts for about 10% of the EU’s GDP and employs about 22 million people.

The sector also faces the challenges of adapting to the EU’s ambitious green agenda, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect biodiversity, and promote organic farming. The sector also has to cope with the increasing competition from other regions of the world, such as South America, Asia, and Africa, which have lower production costs and less stringent environmental standards.

The farmers’ protests have also exposed the political and social divisions within the EU, as some countries, such as France, Germany, and Poland, have been more supportive of the farmers’ demands, while others, such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, have been more critical of the farmers’ actions and more in favor of the EU’s green policies. The protests have also given a boost to the populist and nationalist parties, which have been trying to capitalize on the farmers’ discontent and to present themselves as the defenders of the rural communities and the national interests.

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