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French farmers stage rolling tractor roadblock to protest against 'agri-bashing'

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The rolling roadblock has so far blocked the A1 Paris-Lille motorway
The rolling roadblock has so far blocked the A1 Paris-Lille motorway -
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Reuters
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French farmers are staging a rolling roadblock with tractors in protest against government policies they say negatively affect the country's agriculture.

The demonstration, which is set to block a number of major roads around Paris on Wednesday, will see up to 1,000 tractors meet later on Avenue Foch near the Champs Elysee and the Arc de Triomphe.

It has been organised by two French unions that are calling for an urgent meeting with President Emmanuel Macron over the government's agricultural policies.

Reuters
The placard written in Frence reads: 'Agriculture, food, jobs' in EnglishReuters

Farmers are criticising what they say is an increase in "agri-bashing" over a number of issues, including the use of pesticides and animal welfare.

Macron has pledged to end the use of the herbicide glyphosate by 2021, which is ahead of the EU's current policy, and has been seen as an unnecessary haste by farmers — especially those who hold concerns about having access to an alternative.

His government has also passed a law to split profits more evenly among the country's farmers, but the small gains from this initiative has done little to calm the discontent.

Reuters
The placards written in French read: "Macron responds" in EnglishReuters

Resentment has also grown among the farming community over criticisms of their practices by vegan activists, and further disapproval from environmental groups over the use of pesticides.

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But these demonstrations in France are not a one of a kind for Europe. Farmers in Germany and the Netherlands have also held similar such protests in recent months.

In October, farmers in the Netherlands were said to have caused the "busiest morning rush hour ever" in a protest to demand more respect.

An estimated 2,500 tractors participated in this demonstration, and blocked a number of major roads leading into The Hague.

They say a court decision that found the Netherlands had not done enough to combat climate change and cut national emissions had unfairly been blamed on them.

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