French milk producers after two weeks on strike have been giving it away free in central Paris. 22,000 litres was trucked in from Normandy, in what the farmers said was a communications exercise.
In several EU countries, they want the European rules changed, blaming a gradual liberalisation of the market for low prices. France’s agriculture minister has approved 250 million euros in cheap loans to help tide the farmers over. While consumers stormed the milk tankers in the Place de la Bastille, Italian farmers were demonstrating at the Brenner Pass, against importing milk into Italy. Austrian farmers also collected at the border to protest, saying EU milk policy is failing while they go broke. The producers say EU plans to increase annual milk quotas will make the market more fragile. The European Commission has already taken a string of measures to shore up dairy markets, such as reinstating export subsidies.