French govt prepares to head off ‘siege’ of Paris planned by agricultural unions

France's government said Sunday it was making plans to avoid any blockage of routes around the French capital as agricultural unions prepared to mount a "siege" of Paris, part of efforts to pressure the government to meet their demands on pay, taxes and regulations.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Sunday tasked law enforcement officials with putting into place "extensive security measures" to prevent farmers from blocking Paris area airports or its Rungis market and “to prohibit any entry into Paris”.

The leaders of two of France's largest farming unions said Saturday that members from the regions around Paris "will begin an indefinite siege of the capital" on Monday.

"All the major roads leading to the capital will be occupied by farmers," they said, announcing their intention to blockade the massive Rungis wholesale food market south of the capital.

Read moreIn pictures: French farmers block roads, bridges as protests sweep country

French farmers are furious at what they say is a squeeze on purchase prices for produce by supermarket and industrial buyers, as well as complex environmental regulations.

"As you can see, it's a pressure cooker ready to explode."

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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