Macron to farmers: France stood firm on EU farm budget
PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday told farmers that France stood its ground in opposing cuts to agricultural subsidies and would continue to do so, a day after an EU summit on the bloc’s next budget ended in deadlock.
European Union leaders failed on Friday to agree on a next seven-year budget, as a funding shortfall created by Britain’s departure sharpened debate over spending priorities.
Like his predecessors, Macron has called on Europe to maintain a large budget for its Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), of which France is the main beneficiary.
Inaugurating the annual Paris farm show on Saturday, Macron said France would resist efforts to cut the CAP envelope.
“On the CAP we defend an ambitious budget. CAP cannot be the adjustment variable of Brexit. We need to support our farmers,” Macron said.
“If we do not have a deal, we keep the current system. We are protected by the fact that without a deal, we keep the system as it is. We did not yield to those who wanted to reduce the (CAP) budget,” he added.
Macron has had an uneasy relationship with farmers, a powerful lobby in the EU’s biggest agricultural producer.
He initially won plaudits for legislation aimed at sharing profits more fairly along the food chain. But the effects have yet to be felt widely at farm level, while Macron’s determination to phase out weedkiller glyphosate has fueled farmers’ resentment at being cast as polluters. – Reuters