Two of France’s main farming unions on Thursday agreed to suspend protests and lift road blockades across the country after the government announced measures the deemed “tangible progress” in the ongoing revolt against EU ‘climate-driven’ initiatives designed to wean society off of evil, non-bug-based, carbon-emitting food while China, India, and the rest of the world laughs.
In addition to France, protests have been held in Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Germany and elsewhere. Last week, tensions came to a head in Brussels when farmers threw eggs and stones at the European Parliament building, demanding that European leaders stop punishing them with more taxes and rising costs to finance the so-called ‘green agenda.’
After French farmers stepped up protests earlier in the week, the government promised on Thursday to extend protections – including better controlling imports and giving farmers additional aid, Reuters reports.
“Everywhere in Europe the same question arises: how do we continue to produce more but better? How can we continue to tackle climate change? How can we avoid unfair competition from foreign countries?,” said Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, announcing the new measures.
In response, France’s main farmers union, FNSEA, announced that it was time to lift the blockades and “go home.” Arnaud Gaillot of the Young Farmers’ union echoed the message, however both unions warned that other types of protests would continue, and they’d be back if the government doesn’t make good on their promises.
Meanwhile in Ireland, farmers began protesting Thursday evening.
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“There’s a general dissatisfaction with the level of environmental regulation that is being heaped on farmers, the low margins, and (the) resulting low income the farmers have been suffering from for a very long time now,” said Cathal MacCarthy, media director for the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, adding “There will be a great deal of sympathy and solidarity with the aim and ambitions of the protests both in Ireland and on the Continent,” EURACTIV reports.
“They feel they are being regulated out of business by Brussels bureaucrats and Department of Agriculture officials who are far removed from the reality of day-to-day farming,” said Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) President Francine Gorman on Wednesday, ahead of the protests.
The concerns of the Irish beef and dairy farmers echo the concerns of other European farmers who have been protesting for weeks.
MacCarthy said Irish beef and dairy farmers also believe they are not being compensated fairly for the agrifood products they cultivate, given the increased costs involved in production as a result of environmental regulations.
“We need senior politicians to face consumers and say, ‘Lads, listen, the cost of producing this food is X, that has to be paid, and the margin that allows farmers to live (has to be paid), but we can’t just be dependent on what the supermarket feels like charging their customers,’” he said. -EURACTIV
“We can either continue to have cheap food, or we can have environmentally sustainable food, but we can’t have both,” said MacCarthy.