Anger of farmers: “No matter what we do, they are not happy”, is the executive losing patience with the farmers' unions?

Anger of farmers: “No matter what we do, they are not happy”, is the executive losing patience with the farmers’ unions?

The meetings are following one another and the end of the crisis does not appear to be in sight, while Gabriel Attal will receive the majority of agricultural unions on Tuesday, after postponing a meeting with Emmanuel Macron planned for this week.

Is the agricultural crisis endless? In fact, tensions appear to be rising as Gabriel Attal prepares to host the FNSEA and the Young Farmers (JA) in Matignon on Tuesday, March 19 at 9:30 am. This meeting, which is already the sixth of its kind, takes place after the announcement by the President of the FNSEA Arnaud Rousseau of the postponement of a new planned meeting with Emmanuel Macron. The trade unionist had argued that “the conditions for exiting the agricultural crisis had not been met”, while refusing to “place this responsibility on the trade unions”.

“Agree on a step-by-step plan”

Arnaud Rousseau focused on comments from the press, according to which public authorities had denounced “unions that were unable to agree on four or five strong measures.” According to a government source, the unions must “agree on a roadmap, four to five key objectives or demands,” adding that “until this is the case, a meeting (with Emmanuel Macron) makes no sense.” And as our colleagues at Politico confirm, the attitude of the leaders of the two unions received on Tuesday is beginning to put pressure on several personalities in the government. So much so that the executive branch is starting to lose hope regarding the ongoing negotiations. “No matter what we do, they’re not happy,” one executive advisor even whispered to our colleagues, assuring that the unions were not “trustworthy.”

The government says it will continue to work hard to respond to the demands of the unions. “We continue to make progress on the Prime Minister’s 62 commitments,” Minister Delegate for Agriculture Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on TF1. For his part, Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau told France Bleu that “almost 90%” of these measures have been introduced or initiated.

The “rhythm is not there at all”

But for Aurélien Rousseau, who kept pointing out a flawed schedule and too slow execution, the criticism continued. The FNSEA boss estimated this Saturday that the “pace is not there at all” on a certain number of measures. Hence the postponement of the meeting with the President of the Republic. Among these measures that, according to him, will take too long to be realized: pensions, water, phytos, breeding, treasury or even administrative simplification…

But again the board seems tired, “it is becoming a running gag: every week the unions say that things are not going fast enough,” an advisor told our colleagues. The real reason for the blockade, according to the same: the professional agricultural elections of 2025. “All unions are having a hard time” and “no one wants to let go first,” he complained.

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