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Farmers’ protests in France: “The reasons for the anger”

On the front page of the press, this Monday, October 22, the multiplication, in France, as elsewhere in Europe, of demonstrations by farmers against financial charges and environmental standards, considered overwhelming. Massive protests in Germany against the far-right AfD party. Ron DeSantis’ decision to withdraw from the US Republican primary in favor of Donald Trump. And the discovery of four new species of octopus.

On the front page of the press, the multiplication, in France, as elsewhere in Europe, of demonstrations by farmers against financial charges and environmental standards, considered overwhelming.

Faced with “deep and protean” anger, “as much as the agricultural world itself”, La Croix calls for us to “face the peasant unease” and “try to respond to it”. The newspaper sees French farmers “hit by contradictory injunctions”: “ensure the country’s food sovereignty”, while many of them barely earn enough to live on, “produce quality food while facing imports who do not respect (the same) standards and change the way they work to respond to climate change, while they experience themselves as being the first victims. Constraints which “feed the impression of being abandoned by the public authorities” – which would however be unjustified, according to the newspaper, “as farmers have shown their ability to make themselves heard”, as recently proven by the suspension of the increase in taxes on pesticides. One month before the Agricultural Show, the fear of a conflagration in the countryside led the government to order “to do everything possible” to “contain” the movement, according to Le Figaro – which reports the The concern of the executive to see the resurgence of a protest similar to that of the “Yellow Vests” 5 years ago.

Le Figaro accuses the government of “playing a double game” and submitting to the decisions of the European Union. According to the newspaper, it is not the farmers who “turn over the city signs to say that we are walking on our heads” “who are turning France upside down”, “but those who, in Paris as in Brussels, impose rules from which China, the United States, and South America escape, too happy to dump at low prices” “what (European farmers) no longer have the right to produce themselves”. 5 months before the European elections, the anti-Brussels speech is forcefully taken up by the president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, who presents himself as the only bulwark against a “European Union (which would like) to kill French agriculture” – a a speech also relayed elsewhere in Europe, by the allies of the RN, according to Le Monde, which cites in particular the Dutch Party for Freedom and the AfD, in Germany.

Across the Rhine, nearly 1.5 million Germans have demonstrated over the past three days against the far-right party. A mobilization of a rare scale which follows the revelations on the holding of a party meeting last November, during which AfD executives discussed a plan for the mass expulsion of foreigners or foreign. However, will these massive demonstrations be enough to “contain” the far-right party? The Taggesspiegel, the Berlin daily, doubts it, because of the running out of steam in the coalition led by Olaf Scholz, too consumed, according to him, by its internal divisions. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the most vocal support for the demonstrators came from the President of the Federal Republic, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who sent them a message thanking them for “defending the republic and the (German) constitution against their enemies “. The AfD’s secret meeting reminded some of its opponents of the dark pages of German history – hence the drawing by the Dutchman Tjeerd Royaards published by the site Cartoon Movement, showing the Germans discovering a swastika under the acronym of the AfD.

Also in the news this morning, Ron DeSantis’ decision to withdraw from the Republican primary in favor of Donald Trump. The New York Times announces the end of a “turbulent and expensive” campaign, which failed to attract Republican voters. The governor of Florida would have made the mistake of “putting all his eggs in one basket”, according to The Guardian – which explains that the ex-candidate bet everything, wrongly, on “his moral crusade against woke ideology”, which advocates for social and racial equality, and on “the implosion of Trump’s candidacy under the effect of legal proceedings”.

We won’t leave each other on this. Before saying see you tomorrow, I suggest you stay with the American press and the Washington Post, which reports that a scientific expedition has led to the discovery of 4 new species of octopus off the coast of Costa Rica. According to the daily, the critters were discovered in a nursery where mother octopuses incubate their young by curling up, all tentacles out. The female octopus, as we recall, is a particularly zealous mother, since researchers even recently observed that a mother octopus had watched over her young for nearly four and a half years, before dying just after her brood hatched.

This article is originally published on .france24.com

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