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French farmers protest over cheap imports

French farmers protest over cheap imports
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French farmers on Thursday staged a protest in Paris, calling on the government to introduce protectionist measures against cheaper imports.

Fruit growers set out their stalls on the capital’s Place de la Bastille to sell their products at cut prices.

They say big supermarkets are destroying their livelihoods by buying non-French produce.

Raymond Girardi, secretary-general of the MODEF trade union, said the government should introduce a social tax on imports “to balance the price of imported products with the price of ours.”

French farms receive the most EU aid annually. They rake in over 20 percent of the 58 billion euros the EU spends on agricultural subsidies every year.

French farmers last week attacked trucks carrying fruit and vegetables from Spain.

They say weaker labour rules allow Spanish farmers to produce cheaper goods than French growers.