Operations to block farmers: the boss of the FNSEA suggests that Gabriel Attal “return to the negotiating table”

In an interview with Midi Libre, Arnaud Rousseau, president of the FNSEA, the first French agricultural union, reacts to the announcements of Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and announces the continuation of the peasant movement. Why the blockages “continue”.

You call for the continuation of the farmers’ movement, do you think you have not been heard?

Part of what the Prime Minister said is in the right direction. But it’s not complete compared to what we asked for. These are good first proposals, but there are things that need to be clarified and completed.

Consequently, after consultation with all of our departmental and regional representatives, as well as with the Young Farmers, we made the decision to continue the movement.

The Prime Minister having said that he was a man of dialogue, our desire is to return to the negotiating table.

What are the strong measures that could lead you to put an end to the movement?

There are a lot of them, because he talked about some interesting measures, but on all subjects, for example overtransposition (of European rules into French law), I found him in the background, or even absent.

However, supertranspositions, by definition, are French decisions which can be modified by decree. He spoke of around ten decrees, but there are many others. About the environmental overtransposition, we have a lot of questions. But there are also issues of environmental compensation.

And he absolutely did not talk about pensions, on which major progress is expected. He didn’t talk at all about the installation and transmission for young people. There are a number of topics that have not been covered.

We have a very precise platform of demands, with 42 points which are broken down into 122 measures. We want to look with the Prime Minister at those to which he responded positively and those which were not addressed: is this possible or not and for what reasons?

You will therefore continue the blockades in France.

Yes, we say it very clearly, because if there are initial elements of response, all of our demands have not been addressed.

I spoke to the Prime Minister on the telephone twice, he received us on Monday as part of a meeting intended to make a diagnosis, but since then we have not worked either with his services or with the other ministries on the measures.

SO the actions continue and, if the Prime Minister wishes, we are at his disposal to continue discussions.

Could you go as far as blocking the city of Paris?

We currently have actions (Friday evening, Editor’s note) in Ile-de-France, we have not, for the moment, decided to enter Paris. This is not the objective, but depending on what will happen in the coming days things could change.

At the moment, this is not the case.

Could certain barriers, on the contrary, be lifted? There may also be divisions within the unions, notably yours: Jérôme Bayle, head of the FNSEA in Haute-Garonne, announced the lifting of the A64 barrier this Saturday noon.

As always, in our network, we give priority to the decision on the ground. This movement also aims to rotate because there are people who have been mobilized for four or five days, while others simply started today. Some will pick up this Friday evening to perhaps come back next week, others will continue.

Our colleagues from Haute-Garonne were the first (to carry out blockades, Editor’s note) and they lifted their device because they have three demands to which Gabriel Attal responded live, including action.

With these decisions, at this stage, the Prime Minister has lifted a barrier. There are a hundred others left.

The FNSEA further specifies that it condemns all violent actions committed alongside the mobilization of farmers, in particular the fire of the MSA in Narbonne.

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