Hundreds of tractors were descending on Paris in a boisterous protest by farmers blocking highways to express their anger over falling French food prices and high taxes.
They are protesting about increasingly slim margins they blame on cheap imports and high payroll charges, which they say make them unable to compete against Germany, much less Eastern Europe or beyond, and they are seeking support from the French government and the EU.
Tractors bearing spray-painted slogans such as “Our charges are killing us” moved slowly along major arteries to the capital, squeezing past tollbooths. They planned to gather at the Place de la Nation in eastern Paris, and some farmers want to head to Parliament.
Protest organiser FNSEA, France’s largest farming union, said 1,500 tractors from around the country were planning to take part.