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French President heckled by angry farmers

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By Catherine Hardy  with AFP
French President heckled by angry farmers

<p><p></p> <p>Francois Hollande has been heckled by frustrated farmers at France’s leading agricultural fair in Paris.</p> <p>The French President was met with cries of “resign!” and “get lost!” as he arrived at the venue.</p> </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SIA2016?src=hash">#SIA2016</a>, Francois Hollande hué par les jeunes agriculteurs eleveurs lui demandant de “démissionner et de se casser” <a href="https://t.co/otIzCq7eKz">pic.twitter.com/otIzCq7eKz</a></p>— Eric de LA <span class="caps">CHESNAIS</span> (@plumedeschamps) <a href="https://twitter.com/plumedeschamps/status/703477122011176960">February 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"align="center"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Hollande hué au <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/salondelagriculture?src=hash">#salondelagriculture</a> au cri de “<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HollandeD%C3%A9mission?src=hash">#HollandeDémission</a>“. Une première pour un président depuis 1870! <a href="https://t.co/Jt6fuJ2zNY">pic.twitter.com/Jt6fuJ2zNY</a></p>— Napoléon (@tprincedelamour) <a href="https://twitter.com/tprincedelamour/status/703477560059912192">February 27, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> </p> <p>Scuffles broke out at the Ministry of Agriculture stand, which was demolished by protesters.</p> <p>Riot police were called in to bring the situation under control. </p> <p>Several people have been arrested. <p></p> <h3><strong>French farmers – what’s their beef?</strong></h3> </p> <p>Farmers across the country have been protesting at what they say are falling produce or “farm gate” prices and excessive bureaucracy.</p> <p>They say they are struggling against competition from big industry and neighbouring countries, due mainly to Europe’s single market. <p></p> <h3><strong>French farming in numbers</strong></h3> </p> <ul> <li>€70.4 billion – the 2011 base price value of French agricultural produce – Europe’s leader</li> </ul> <ul> <li>18.1% – France’s share of EU agricultural production (Germany 13.4, Italy 12.3, Spain 10.6)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>5.6% – of French job sector. 1.42 million work in agriculture, fisheries and agri-food</li> </ul> <p>Source: <a href="http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/economic-diplomacy-foreign-trade/facts-about-france/one-figure-one-fact/article/france-europe-s-leading">French government website</a></p> </p> <h3><strong>What they are saying</strong></h3> <p> <p><em>“We have been talking for a year and Hollande is not listening. We are all dying on our farms. Who feeds you all? Tomorrow, there will be no one to do it.”</em>- <strong>french farmer warns of the decline of the industry</strong>.</p> <p><em>“I am on the side of the farmers in the Ile-de-France who are exasperated and have come to say loud and clear that producers in France feel they are not treated like citizens.”</em> – <strong>Dominique Barreau, Secretary General of farming union</strong> </p> </p>