18 farmers arrested in France near Rungis market on Paris’ outskirts

Paris, (UNI) French police have arrested 18 farmers protesting near the wholesale Rungis market on the outskirts of Paris, which the government had warned them to stay away from, and seized their tractors, French media reported on Wednesday.

The farmers were arrested for “obstructing traffic” in the area, and their equipment was towed to a car impound, the Europe 1 broadcaster said. They were reportedly moving towards Rungis, Europe’s largest food market located seven kilometers (4.3 miles) south of Paris.

French farmers, angered by unfair competition from rivals, said they would drive heavy machinery to Paris to target the food market this week. On Sunday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin described the planned blockade of Rungis and the airports as a red line for the government, and warned that the police would use armored vehicles and helicopters to protect them.

Earlier in the day, Darmanin said that the number of farmers demonstrating across the country against the government’s agricultural policies has increased to around 10,000.

In recent weeks, farmers in France have been protesting by blocking highways and dumping manure and waste in front of government buildings across the country. The farmers are demanding recognition of the importance of their profession and denouncing the government’s agricultural policies, which they say make them noncompetitive. In particular, they oppose the import of agricultural products, restrictions on the use of water for irrigation, rising of diesel fuel prices, as well as restrictive measures to protect the environment and the growing financial burden.


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