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Tags: EU | France | Farmers Protest

French Farmers Protest at low Meat and Milk Prices

French Farmers Protest at low Meat and Milk Prices

Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:03 AM

PARIS (AP) — Angry French farmers blocked the Mont Saint-Michel causeway and highways leading to the Alps on Thursday to denounce low milk and meat prices.

The farmers used tires, tractors and tree trunks to block roads all around the country.

Mont Saint-Michel, in the northwestern Normandy region, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists were forced to park their cars along the road and walk for several kilometers to the famous island.

The farmers blocked three major highways around the city of Lyon, a gateway to the Alps and to the south of France. Traffic was backed up about 25 kilometers (15 miles) by midday.

Some roads in western France, a region with many milk and pork farms, were also jammed.

The protests were prompted by disappointment over the government's offer to back loans to the farmers and delay tax payments as part of a 600 million-euro ($654 million) plan.

The government stopped short of providing any direct financial aid to the farmers, in order not to break EU market rules.

Farmers say their margins are being chipped way by cheap imports and pressure from grocery chains.

Xavier Beulin, president of the FNSEA, the main farmers' union, warned that other protests "will probably happen in the next two to three days."

Some "need to express their anger," he said on Europe 1 radio. Beulin said he is willing to quickly work with the government on "long-term and mid-term solutions."

This weekend, many French people will be on the roads to start their summer vacations.

French farmers often resort to spectacular protests to make their demands heard.

Low prices have put about 10 percent of livestock farms on the verge of bankruptcy, the government said.

President Francois Hollande met with some farmers and union officials on Thursday in the city of Dijon, in the Burgundy region.

"We want supermarket chains to make the necessary effort to pay the farmers," he said.

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Europe
Angry French farmers blocked the Mont Saint-Michel causeway and highways leading to the Alps on Thursday to denounce low milk and meat prices.The farmers used tires, tractors and tree trunks to block roads all around the country.Mont Saint-Michel, in the...
EU,France,Farmers Protest
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2015-03-23
Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:03 AM
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