Criticism of Spanish products in France amid farmer protests: “Tomatoes are inedible”

The tension between French farmers and authorities continues to grow. The image of tractors placed face to face on a highway that goes to Paris, as well as other mobilizations in the neighboring country, have become common this week, to which have been added the first arrests that occurred this Wednesday.

In this context of protests, certain politicians and media in the French country have taken the opportunity to criticize Spanish products. The first Minister, Gabriel Attalhinted that there is unfair competition from several countries, while the Government spokesperson, Prisca Thevenot, spoke along the same lines: “France cannot be left in the hands of unfair competition. We must protect our independence and agricultural sovereignty.”

Furthermore, the words of a reporter from the BFM channel went viral this week, describing Spanish mandarins as “disgusting”, “inedible”, of “poor quality” and calling them “shit”.

The latest to join the criticism was the French Minister of the Environment, Segolene Royalwho said that Spanish products are “fake bio”ensuring that they are “edible” and that their mixture with French organic is a “scam”: “They do not respect the standards set by France.”

Farmers protests in France

In France, the increase in tension due to the mobilizations continues. For the first time since the beginning of the protests, important riot police deploymentsvery discreet until now, despite the fact that the Interior kept 15,000 agents mobilized.

At the same time, government spokespersons, until now sympathetic to the farmers’ demands, began to raise the tone and to ensure that their work, which has begun to bear fruit, does not have recognition in the field.

They repeat that the president, Emmanuel Macronon a state visit to Sweden, has given in on some of the agrarian demands: he refused to suppress the aid for diesel, simplified some procedures and obtained from Brussels concessions on fallow and imports of Ukrainian cereal.

For the Elysée it is a step forward that Macron himself will try to consolidate this Thursday during the summit of heads of state and government of the EU that begins in Brussels.

But it is not enough for the peasants, who in the one hundred lock points that they maintain throughout the country showed their willingness to maintain the protest and increase the pressure.

Although the leaders of the majority unions reiterated the message of stay calm and avoid violent actions.

Mobilizations in Spain following the demonstrations in France

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, called a meeting for this Friday, February 2, with the main agricultural professional organizations. As reported by the Ministry in a statement, he has summoned those responsible for Asaja, COAG and UPAin response to a request for a meeting that these associations have made in a joint letter and which had a formal entry into this department this Tuesday.

The three organizations announced this Tuesday the call for mobilizations in the coming weeks, to demand a “shock plan” with measures at the European, national and regional levels in defense of the primary sector, as announced in a joint statement. Initially, the protest events will take place at the regional level during the coming weeks.

The agricultural sector in Europe and Spain is mired in growing frustration and unrest due to the difficult conditions and suffocating bureaucracy generated by EU regulations,” they noted in a statement. “Farmers struggle in the face of a deregulated market that imports agricultural products from third countries at low prices that put downward pressure on those from the EU. and those produced in Spain. These non-EU productions do not comply with the internal regulations of the EU and represent a contradiction and hypocrisy in the political action of the EU, between trade policy and its own common agricultural policy. “Unfair competition that jeopardizes the viability of thousands of farms in Spain and Europe.”

Agricultural organizations complain that The EU “continues to close more free trade agreements with third countrieswhich exacerbate the problems of farmers and ranchers throughout the EU.” For this reason, COAG, UPA and Asaja demand that Brussels paralyze the negotiations of agreements such as Mercosur, the non-ratification of the agreement with New Zealand and that the negotiations be paralyzed. negotiations with Chile, Kenya, Mexico, India and Australia.

Furthermore, they demand that the Government of Pedro Sánchez, with the supervision of the European Commission, “increase controls at the border with Morocco to ensure that imported Moroccan agricultural products comply with internal regulations of the EU and the tariff amounts established in the free trade agreement.” “It is vital to recover the community preference to recover and guarantee our food sovereignty,” maintain the three agricultural organizations.

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