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Farmers food protest over sanctions

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 01:31

French farmers have dumped 50 tonnes of produce in the heart of Paris. As Joel Flynn reports it's partly a protest at the impact EU sanctions on Russia are having on European businesses.

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The French call them pomme de terre - literally "apple of the earth" - and this is just some of the 50 tonnes dumped in the middle of Paris. Here in the city's historic Place de la Republique, the French farmers behind this stunt are angry. They dislike EU red tape and want policy changes. They also want compensation for the losses they've suffered due to Russia's trade sanctions against the EU. Handing out food to Parisians to promote locally-sourced produce, Damien Griffin helped lead the protest. SOUNDBITE President Of The Ile-De-France Division Of The FDSEA (National Federation Of Agricultural Holders' Unions), Damien Griffin, saying (French): "Clearly we are expressing our annoyance, and the annoyance of the entire farming world. We have come to say to Parisians: "Make an act of buying, come and be an activist, come, consume, support production in the Ile-de-France region." Tit-for-tat sanctions between Russia and the euro zone over Ukraine have bitten both sides. French farmers are just one example of how Russia has targetted Europe's precarious but important agricultural sector. Some are worried that even more sanctions could be introduced. Fortis Bank's Philippe Gijsels. SOUNDBITE: Fortis Bank Chief Strategy Officer, Philippe Gijsels, saying (English): "Let's just hope we do not go down this road because, we should not forget, that both the euro zone and the Russian economy are not fantastic at the moment, so additional sanctions would not, could be the tipping point to put both in recession, and that's not what anybody wants." The EU's foreign policy chief says it all depends what happens in Ukraine where a fragile ceasefire is, for now, holding. What's also not clear is how much longer voters in Europe will be prepared to take the pain.

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Farmers food protest over sanctions

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 - 01:31