Faced with unions, Emmanuel Macron renounces the highly criticized debate at the Agricultural Show

While the Agricultural Show opens its doors this Saturday, Emmanuel Macron finally decided to cancel the big debate with the players in the sector, who dissociated themselves from it one by one.

Faced with unions, Emmanuel Macron renounces the highly criticized debate at the Agricultural Show

While the Agricultural Show opens its doors this Saturday, Emmanuel Macron finally decided to cancel the big debate with the players in the sector, who dissociated themselves from it one by one.

The Agricultural Show starts this Saturday, February 24. Emmanuel Macron will be present for the opening and is expected to stay at least two hours on site. He wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to debate with stakeholders in the sector after the major farmers' demonstrations which punctuated the month of January. The president was therefore expected to meet with farmers, unions (FNSEA, Young Farmers, Confédération paysanne, etc.) but also representatives of associations or large-scale distribution (Lidl, Leclerc, etc.), according to Franceinfo.

Even before having begun this debate is already divisive. In question ? The invitation from the Earth Uprisings (SDT), a radical ecological collective that the government wanted to dissolve a few months ago. Initially invited in front of the press, the organization is no longer invited. But it never was according to the latest clarifications from the presidential office on ahead of the event."

This misunderstanding and the simple fact of having thought of inviting the collective caused great controversy, particularly with the FNSEA. The president of the FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau, did not want the association to come, which he considered to be an “unacceptable provocation for farmers”. And he made it known on Twitter that he refused “to take part in what will be a charade” if the environmental movement was present. For its part, the SDT collective reacted on Twitter describing the debate at the Agricultural Show as “a hoax”.

The FNSEA and the JA had announced their non-participation in the debate. "I will not go to this big debate. I indicated it last night. I find that what is happening is incomprehensible, the cynicism which prevails in what I observe is intolerable for the people I represent" explained Arnaud Rousseau, president of the first union on RMC this Friday morning. But not only did they shun the debate, the trade unionists demanded its cancellation "in this climate of exasperation and in the face of the risk of excess".

A position heard by Emmanuel Macron this Friday, at the end of the day. The President of the Republic finally gave up on holding this debate as he announced on X: "The agricultural unions wanted this show not to be 'a show like any other'. They wanted a 'debate' open. They are today requesting its cancellation. Of which act". He instead suggests a meeting before the opening.

The Rural Coordination had also turned its back on the possibility of discussing with the Head of State. The president of the union, Véronique Le Floc'h, "expects nothing" from this debate and indicated that she would not attend to "leave [her] place to [her] colleagues" on RTL this Friday morning: "We wanted Manipulating us as if we were puppets is so far from the point that if they don't get to the point right away we will continue to waste our time."

The debate was losing credibility even among environmentalists. MP Marie Ponchon spoke of “great nonsense and great amateurism on the part of Emmanuel Macron”. Even the mass distribution side of the world was missing. Michel Edouard Leclerc, for example, announced that he will be among those absent: "I will therefore not participate in what I consider to be gross manipulation", he revealed in a press release on X.

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