October 1, 2019 / 12:15 PM / 14 days ago

Two French farmers unions call for blockade protest on Oct. 8

PARIS (Reuters) - Two leading French farmers’ unions have called for a series of demonstrations, starting with a road blockade later this month, to protest against the government’s agricultural policy.

The FNSEA and the “Young Farmers” (Jeunes Agriculteurs) unions issued a statement on Tuesday saying they would be looking to block major traffic routes on Oct. 8.

French farmers’ protests picked up after the country’s parliament approved an EU-Canada trade deal in July, with recent demonstrations by farmers coming on top of the ongoing “Yellow Vests” protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

French farmers are also angry over the potential hit to their livelihoods from a provisional trade deal struck in June by the EU and the Mercosur bloc of South American countries, which includes major agricultural exporters Brazil and Argentina.

Protests by farmers during July and August resulted in many regional offices of Macron’s LREM party being vandalised, including manure being dumped outside the office of member of parliament Monique Iborra and fellow MP Romain Grau’s office being set on fire.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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