New announcements capable of responding to farmers' demands?

New government measures intended to respond to farmers' demands are expected this Tuesday, January 30, after initial announcements from Gabriel Attal considered disappointing.

New announcements capable of responding to farmers' demands?

New government measures intended to respond to farmers' demands are expected this Tuesday, January 30, after initial announcements from Gabriel Attal considered disappointing.

Second attempt by the government to satisfy angry farmers. A new round of announcements, promised by the Minister of Agriculture Marc Fesneau, is expected this Tuesday, January 30 after more than a week of mobilization of the agricultural sector. Unions and farmers alike have high expectations of these new measures after the first announcements made by Gabriel Attal on Friday January 26, from a farm in Haute-Garonne, and considered disappointing. The end of the increase in the tax on non-road diesel (GNR), immediate simplification measures, the acceleration of the payment of emergency aid and the release of a fund of 50 million euros for organic are only "measures" for the FNSEA, the majority agricultural union, which expects more from the government.

The presidents of the FNSEA and the Young Farmers were received, for the second time, in Matignon on Monday evening. An interview which lasted until late in the evening and at the end of which neither the trade unionists nor the Prime Minister gave any indication of the progress of the discussions. According to Le Parisien, issues concerning viticulture and the transfer of farms would have been discussed. Likewise the subject of non-treatment zones (ZNT), but on this point the government should not compromise. Farmers are also awaiting measures to ban the use of certain pesticides which is not compensated by any alternative solution.

The vagueness therefore remains on the announcements promised to farmers, as well as on the way in which they will be revealed. Will they be made by the Minister of Agriculture or the Prime Minister? And if this responsibility falls to Gabriel Attal, will he present measures during his general policy speech to Parliament?

This is one of the demands that is increasingly being heard in farmers' mobilizations: the "unfair competition" that they face in the face of imported agricultural products which are not subject to the same standards and requirements as French products. And farmers point to products from other European Union countries, such as Ukraine, as much as some coming from further afield, notably from South America. For the former, farmers call for a principle of reciprocity so that everyone is in the same boat regarding the standards to be respected. But for the latter, they are opposed to a free trade agreement with Mercosur (economic alliance between Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela) in negotiations with the European Commission.

Gabriel Attal insisted on France's opposition to the signing of this treaty last Friday, and Emmanuel Macron has increased exchanges with the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, in recent days to oppose the agreement and suspend negotiations. It's done and the Head of State must address the subject with Ursula Von der Leyen, this Thursday during an exceptional council in Brussels. The farmers' demand has been heard, but with decisions being taken in Brussels, the chances of seeing new announcements made on this subject this Tuesday are slim.

Another demand from farmers: obtain an end to the compulsory fallowing of 4% of agricultural land imposed by a European standard. But this decision is also taken at the European level and if it is advanced, we would at least have to wait until Thursday and the meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Ursula Von der Leyen to get news.

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