The Paris Agriculture show has opened at the Porte de Versailles exhibition hall – but French President Nicolas Sarkozy has risked the wrath of France’s powerful farming lobby by failing to show for the inauguration.
Sarkozy chose to spend his weekend in the country with wife Carla and sent Agriculture Minister Bruno le Maire in his place.
While he does plan to visit later on, his low-key approach has raised eyebrows. Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac always attended the opening, spending up to six hours talking to farmers and tasting produce.
For the general public though, the political row is of secondary importance. Basque sausages, gastronomic delights and local specialities are just some of the attractions expected to draw some 700,000 visitors.