From Dunkirk to Marseille, farmers demonstrated on Monday February 19 to maintain pressure on a government from which they expect more than "half measures" a few days before the opening of the Agricultural Show in Paris.

The President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron will receive, according to the Élysée, Tuesday at 3 p.m. the president of the Young Farmers (JA), Arnaud Gaillot, then at 4 p.m. that of the FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau – the two agricultural unions are allied and largely majority.

Emmanuel Macron spoke last week with other representatives of the profession (Rural Coordination, Peasant Confederation and Modef).

Its Prime Minister Gabriel Attal will hold a press conference on Wednesday dedicated to the agricultural crisis.

Also read Farmers after Gabriel Attal's speech: "We expected nothing, we are not disappointed"

A month after the start of a long wave of demonstrations, the head of government will discuss the rewriting of the agricultural bill which had been suspended at the start of the crisis, as well as the monitoring and execution of measures already announced by the government .

Blockages across the territory

A convoy of around forty tractors paraded through the center of Marseille on Monday, spreading manure in front of administrative buildings.

“The Agricultural Show will be under pressure, we will be there and we will not be there to enhance their communication services, we will be there to harangue them and to obtain things,” assured Laurent Depieds, regional director of the FNSEA, at the initiative of the demonstration, with the JA.

In the Marne, members of the JA dumped manure, wheels and pallets in front of the prefecture in Chalons-en Champagne, but also in front of the sub-prefectures of Reims, Vitry-le-François and Epernay, they said. they indicated.

Farmers demonstrate in Marseille, February 19, 2024 © Clément Mahoudeau, AFP

In Dunkirk, around fifty tractors carried out a snail operation Monday morning.

“It is not because people have returned to the farms that the subject is over”, repeated on Europe 1 the president of the FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau.

Macron's vision of agriculture expected

During the inauguration of the Agricultural Show on Saturday, Emmanuel Macron will have to announce "what his vision of agriculture is for the coming years and what we are doing right away", insisted Arnaud Rousseau.

“We are trying to find a format so that he [Emmanuel Macron] can express his vision,” a source within the executive told AFP, while the president is used to extended walks (1 p.m. last year), without a formal speech.

The government is under no illusion: “We will never get satisfaction from farmers anyway.”

Read also “Circumvented” laws: why the anger of farmers also targets mass distribution

The annual meeting – the 60th – expects around 600,000 visitors in nine days, at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center, in this electric climate.

Faced with the risk of demonstrations, security will be brought "to the maximum", indicated Arnaud Lemoine, director of Ceneca, the organization which owns the event, Thursday on BFMTV. “Despite everything, the living room must remain a beautiful celebration,” he insisted, stressing that “it is also the living room of grandmothers, strollers, families.”

On Monday, the organizers called in a press release on participants to "promote friendly and constructive exchanges", but also to "remain reasoned and responsible in the event of alcohol consumption", the show being regularly the scene of alcoholic excesses.

With AFP

The France 24 summary of the week

invites you to look back at the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news everywhere with you! Download the France 24 application