France government abandons plan to reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel News
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France government abandons plan to reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel

The French government introduced a series of urgent measures on Friday that abandon its plan to reduce state subsidies on agricultural diesel. The measures included emergency solutions aiming to make the life of farmers easier and protect their income, and were announced within “a logic of agricultural independence and food sovereignty, with healthy, safe and sustainable production.”

In addition to dropping plans to reduce diesel subsidies, the government announced that they would enforce laws that mandate value sharing in the French food industry, sanction companies that do not follow those laws, and create emergency funds to help farmers deal with the fallout of farm diseases and flooding.

The measures were introduced following multiple farmers protests against financial pressure and environmental rules they said were too strict. The French Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, told farmers the government will be putting agriculture “above everything.” Furthermore, Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, said “the Bill is expected to be presented next Week” with the objective to examine the Bill at the Parliament during the first semester of 2024.

French farmers have been expressing their anger at the government’s environmental policies, which they sayare harmful to their business, blocking the highway between Toulouse and Tarbes in the south-west of France and in other parts of the country. The President of the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA) last week stressed that their demands are not subject to negotiations and announced the launch of actions by farmers throughout France.

Despite the newly proposed measures, protests are expected to go on as the prime minister’s announcement were deemed to be “insignificant” by farmers. Meanwhile, similar movements have erupted across Europe. German farmers blockaded and attempted to storm a ferry earlier this month to prevent Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck from returning to Germany, in protest of plans to remove agricultural subsidies.