Angry French farmers block highways in bid to step up pressure on government

Author: Newsroom via

LONGVILLIERS, France, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Long lines of tractors blocked highways near Paris and across France on Monday, as angry farmers sought to put pressure on the government to do more to help them weather inflation, compete with cheap imports and make a living.

France's protests follow similar action in other European countries, including Germany and Poland, ahead of European Parliament elections in June in which the far right, for whom farmers represent a growing constituency, is seen making gains.

"We're here because we're unhappy with agricultural policies," Pascal Desprez, a 65-year-old grain farmer who has been working in agriculture for 42 years, said on the A10 highway near Paris.

Farmers, he said, want President Emmanuel Macron to step in - including to loosen regulations.

"We're calling on Macron to put in place more realistic norms," he added.