Farmers bring France, Germany and Poland to standstill

Farmers bring France, Germany and Poland to standstill

Angry French farmers have brought the nation to a standstill by blocking major roads with enormous convoys of tractors as they protest against what they see as excessive EU regulations and low wages.

Pictures from across France show roadblocks and street protests set up by agricultural workers who are up in arms as part of a rising tide of anger among agricultural producers across the European Union.

In a display of solidarity truck access has also been blocked to the port of Calais preventing the transportation of goods to the United Kingdom.

Farmers in Germany and Poland were also out protesting against the European Uninion. In Poland there are concerns about cheap imports from Ukraine flooding the market and about EU green policies.

The A16 motorway is also blocked at the level of access to the cross-Channel platforms without disrupting traffic in the Channel Tunnel at this stage, according to Eurotunnel.

In a sign that the protest movement was expanding in France, roadblocks were spreading in many regions, coming a day after a farmer and her daughter died when a car crashed into a protest barricade in the southwest.

Some staged a protest in Brussels, home to the EU's headquarters, where French farmers' union Rural Coordination called for a demonstration against the “ever-increasing constraints of European regulations and ever-lower incomes.”

France, the biggest agricultural producer in the EU, receives a total of 9billion euros (£7.6billion) a year in subsidies under the CAP, the Common Agricultural Policy, the largest share of any member state.

Veronique Le Floc’h, the president of Rural Coordination, said: "Today, when we see that all the farmers in France are gathering near roundabouts, blocking highways, putting tarpaulins on speed cameras: it shows they are fed up. It's a revolt."

Ms Le Floc'h said farmers from all different backgrounds are joining the movement “because the fight is the same. The money is no longer there.”

Arnaud Rousseau, head of France’s major farmers union FNSEA, said that his organisation would release a list of 40 necessary measures later on Wednesday. Speaking on France 2 television, he said that the protest movement was aimed at “getting quick results.”