French President Emmanuel Macron got to see the anger of his country’s farmers firsthand today as he visited the famous ‘Salon de l’Agriculture’ (a gathering of France’s best ranchers presenting their produce and livestock).
Given the great wealth of agricultural products in France and its worldwide importance (notably the wine, meat and cheese), the visit is a must-do for any French president so this is a date Mr Macron couldn’t miss.
However, given that the UK is leaving the EU (and as it was one of the largest contributors to the European budget), the European Commission knows that it will have to cut back subsidies.
One of the things that the EU thinks has no more future are subsidies to Western European farmers as the salaries are too high to compete with the Eastern European, Asian and Russian imports and it has therefore decided to cut back on these monies. France is the largest recipient.
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You can understand why Mr Macron got such a ‘warm’ reception. He was booed wherever he walked and farmers whistled at him.
Mr Thibault Guybert, a cereal farmer who joined in the booing, explained that President Macron would be judged on his actions and his lack of defending French farmers. He also stated that future bigger protests could not be ruled out.
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“We wanted to jostle President Macron a bit to make our displeasure known and let him know we’re not just going to leave it there,” Mr Guybert stated.
“We’ll have to be very clear with him and find out whether he wants to keep French agriculture or not.”
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