Farmers encircle Paris with tractor barricades, vow to continue ‘siege’ over grievances

Protesting farmers prepared to encircle Paris with traffic-snarling barricades for a second day Tuesday, using hundreds of tractors and mounds of hay bales to block highways leading to France’s capital to pressure the government over the future of their industry.

Latest updates:

*A convoy of around 200 tractors is making its way towards the Rungis international food market south of Paris.

*Organised by the farmers' trade union "Coordination rurale", the protesters were briefly intercepted by gendarmes before changing direction and taking smaller roads.

*The traffic monitoring site Sytadin reported around around one hundred kilometres of accumulated traffic jams around the Ile-de-France region on Tuesday morning.

*Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin has asked the 15,000 mobilised police officers and gendarmes to act with “moderation” when dealing with the protesters.

The blockading of major thoroughfares around Paris – host of the Summer Olympics in six months – and protests elsewhere in France promised another difficult week for new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, less than a month into the job.

Protesters said Attal’s attempts last week at pro-agriculture measures fell short of their demands that producing food should be more lucrative, easier and fairer.

Farmers responded with the deployment Monday of convoys of tractors, trailers and even rumbling harvesters in what they described as a “siege” of Paris to gain more concessions.

'Defending industry'

Some protesters came with reserves of food and water and tents to stay at barricades if the government doesn’t cede ground.

Read more on RFI English

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