A Battle Cry from Farmers Paralyzes France And Spreads Across Europe


The farmers in France call it “Operation Paris Seige” and they’re not backing down.  Major roads and highways surrounding cities in France and Belgium have been blockaded with the participation of French and Flemish-speaking farmers.  In the smaller cities as well as in Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse, blockades are disrupting supply chains and creating havoc with traffic jams while taxi drivers in France are adding to the misery with their “go-slow” operations protesting a sudden tax increase on their revenue for driving sick people to the hospital. 

The blockages began after agriculturalists throughout the nation protested a government plan to cut subsidies for tractor fuel – and even though the French government rescinded the plan the farmers want more -much more.

Blockaded roads in France with tractors
Image via The Guardian

Farmers want the government to act on many of the economic hardships that plague their industry.  They claim they are not being paid enough and are restricted by excessive regulation on environmental protection. What they really want is the ability to charge more to buyers and reduce the amount of bureaucracy.  They are rebelling against attempts by retailers and the government to bring down food prices to curb food inflation which directly affects their profits. They are also expressing concern “that the current sustainability requirements in EU farm subsidies will make it more difficult to compete with foreign producers.” Cheaper imported goods and environmental rules are a constant threat, and these sentiments are also shared by food producers in the rest of the EU. Large imports from the Ukraine (for which the EU has waived quotas and duties since Russia’s invasion) and renewed negotiations for a trade deal between the EU and South American bloc Mercosur have added fuel to the farmers’ cry of unfair competition in sugar, grain and meat.

“Attempting to appease the agitated agriculturalists, French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that the European Union would stop negotiating a free-trade deal with a group of Latin American nations.”

European Farmers Rise Up

In Madrid the Spanish farmers association said they plan to take their problems to the streets in February to protest strict European regulations and lack of government support. The drought in southern Spain has hit farmers hard and reduced returns on rice and olives over the past two years.  The largest farmers’ groups in Spain – Asaja, COAG and UPA claim environmental regulations imposed by Brussels are actually increasing the price of food and undermining the farmers’ profitability.  The farmers continue to face competition for products imported from outside the EU at a reduced price level.

Blockaded roads in Spain with tractors
Image via U.S. News

“As the French protests have intensified, some 20,000 Spanish trucks that cross the border every day have struggled to transport fruit, vegetables and other goods.  Spanish transport association, Fenadismer, estimates the blockades cause daily losses of 10 million euros ($10.84 million) for Spanish companies.”

In Belgium farmers plan to block access to the Zeebrugge container port and farmers in Germany, Poland and Romania are holding demonstrations.  The protesters in Berlin held signs that said: “If the farmer dies, the country dies.”

German farmers protested their own government decision to phase out a tax break on agricultural diesel and blocked the roadways around Berlin with trucks and tractors.  Romanian farmers and truck drivers blocked a border crossing to the Ukraine in protest of high business costs.

The pricing on vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products will only increase with work stoppages and supply chain disruptions like these throughout Europe.

Lily Noon


  1. Paris Seige: French Farmers Encircle Capital with an Angry Blockade by William Booth, January 29, 2024, The Washington Post,
  2. Spanish Farmers Plan February Protests as Anger Spreads Across Europe by Corina Pons and Emma Pinedo, January 30, 2024, Reuters,
  3. Paris Under Seige by Angry Farmers by Sam Klebanov, January 30, 2024, Morning Brew,
  4. Protesting Farmers Block Roads into Paris, January 29, 2024, Le Monde with AFP,





「エマニュエル・マクロン フランス共和国大統領は昨日、農業関係者を落ち着かせるため、欧州連合が一部のラテンアメリカ諸国との自由貿易協定の交渉を中止すると発表しました。」



写真提供:U.S. News





Lily Noon



  1. Paris Seige: French Farmers Encircle Capital with an Angry Blockade(パリ包囲:フランスの農家の怒りが首都を封鎖)、William Booth、2024年1月29日、The Washington Post、
  2. Spanish Farmers Plan February Protests as Anger Spreads Across Europe(スペインの農家は2月に抗議を計画、怒りが欧州全域に拡大)、Corina Pons、Emma Pinedo、2024年1月30日、Reuters、
  3. Paris Under Seige by Angry Farmers(怒った農家がパリを包囲)、Sam Klebanov、2024年1月30日、Morning Brew、
  4. Protesting Farmers Block Roads into Paris(抗議する農家がパリへの道路を封鎖)、2024年1月29日、Le Monde with AFP、

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