'Our strength, our pride': French PM lauds farming sector amid Paris blockade

With protesting farmers camped out Tuesday at barricades around Paris, France's government hoped to calm their anger with more concessions to their complaints that growing and rearing food has become too difficult and not sufficiently lucrative.

New Prime Minister Gabriel Attal defended the farming sector in his first big speech to parliament laying out his government's priorities, calling agriculture “our strength, and our pride. Not only because it feeds us in the literal sense. But also because it constitutes one of the foundations of our identity, of our traditions.”

His government was expected to release new measures later Tuesday or in the coming days. “We need to listen to the farmers, who are working and are worried about their future and their livelihood,” he said.

Read moreIn pictures: French farmers keep up Paris 'siege' in stand-off with govt

The farmers' campaign for better pay, fewer constraints and lower costs has blown up into a major crisis for Attal in the first month of his new job. Protesters rejected pro-agriculture measures that Attal announced last week as insufficient. The government promised more responses would be forthcoming Tuesday.


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