The two largest farmers’ associations in France, the FNSEA and the Jeunes Agriculteurs, have called on their members to return to their farms. The blockades could stop. FNSEA head Arnaud Rousseau said that “tangible progress” had been made. The FNSEA represents a good half of French farmers, around 200,000 members. However, despite all the goodwill and willingness to talk, the association made it clear that action must follow. Otherwise the tractors will roll again, he asserted. He gave the deadline of Feb. 24, for remedial measures to start up, which is the opening of the annual French Agriculture Fair. He said new laws should be in place by June.
Whether protests will calm down will be seen, as the declared target of the wave of protests and tractorcades has not been a few concessions but a more fundamental correction of agricultural and trade policies of the European Union.
Farmers’ protests are continuing in Germany: Access to the international airport in Frankfurt was blocked by some 2,000 tractors this morning. The blockade of access roads to the seaport of Bremerhaven launched yesterday morning is still on, and tractor blockades are expected at several highways.