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French farmers remove blockade of Lyon still product price war rages

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French farmers remove blockade of Lyon still product price war rages


French farmers have begun to remove the blockades from around the French city of Lyon, but the dispute over the price of beef, pork and milk is far from over.

On a normally busy motorway that links the south of the country to Paris and beyond farmers used tyres to send a message to the prime minister Manuel Valls.

It read “Valls we are waiting for you.”

The row has caused chaos and misery to many parts of France with unions threatening to return unless their demands are met.

Dominique Despras is from farming union FDSEA: “We are not being hard for the sake of it.I think the government is well aware of the problem even if it has reacted slowly, we’ve been warning it for three months that the agricultural economy is facing drastic change.”

The Prime Minister defended his governments response after they delivered a 24-point plan to ease the farmers concerns.

“The plan is not considered inadequate. It is an emergency measure has has been praised by all concerned. Beyond that we have a medium and long term plan, which people are waiting to come into effect. We are going to mobilise ourselves in both the domestic and international markets,” said Valls.

The agricultural sector is suffering from a downturn in exports to China and the ongoing Russian ban on EU food products.

According to the government’s own figures 10 percent of French farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy.

Our reporter Laurence Alexandrowicz is in Lyon: “The farmers have lifted the blockade in Lyon, but they are far from satisfied. They demand the supermarkets and processors raise prices.If they don’t the the disruption will begin again.”

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