This is the first major slip-up in the mobilization of angry farmers. A total of 91 people were arrested on Wednesday January 31 after an intrusion into warehouses at the Rungis international market (Val-de-Marne), south of Paris.

A “red line was crossed” with this “intrusion attempt” which was “quickly foiled” by the police, declared the Paris police prefect, Laurent Nuñez, during a press conference . The 91 people arrested “will be placed in police custody,” continued Mr. Nuñez. A previous report from the Créteil public prosecutor’s office reported 79 people in police custody “for damage to the property of others during a meeting and participation in a group formed with a view to preparing damage to property”.

People “on foot briefly entered a storage area” of the market at the end of the afternoon and “committed damage,” a police source explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP). They were “taken out of the premises by the police”, she added, specifying that no one was anymore inside the site. “We will not tolerate any disturbance of public order,” said Mr. Nuñez, while assuring that “the movement overall is going very well.”

Police custody of fifteen other people lifted

These arrests are in addition to the placement in police custody, earlier in the day, of fifteen other people, arrested near Rungis (Val-de-Marne). Their police custody was lifted on Wednesday evening after their hearing, the Créteil prosecutor’s office informed AFP. “A decision will be made later after reviewing the procedure,” added the public prosecutor.

Around 4:50 p.m., several dozen farmers, including members of the Lot-et-Garonne Rural Coordination, arrived in front of warehouses on the edge of the Rungis market, an AFP journalist noted. “We had decided to invest in Rungis, we have invested in Rungis,” said Serge Bousquet-Cassagne, president of the Lot-et-Garonne chamber of agriculture, who led the procession. At least five demonstrators entered a building and then left, without violence, escorted by the police, according to the AFP journalist present on site. Arrested, some got into law enforcement trucks and a trap formed, while Serge Bousquet-Cassagne urged them to “stay calm” and “not be afraid.”

“You risk nothing and you know it,” he told his troops massed in front of the gray buildings. “We didn’t damage anything! “, repeated the manager in front of the journalists present. “Now they are surrounding us, it is the normal work of the police, and we, because we are Republicans, responsible farmers, all fathers and mothers of families here, we are not going to risk fighting for nothing,” he told AFP before the arrests.

Another part of the convoy coming from the South-West to Rungis was blocked by the police in Loiret. The farmers decided to spend the night there. “We’re staying here tonight. We’re waiting to see what they’re going to do with our guys in custody. (…) We will see tomorrow morning what we do,” declared Jean-Pierre Labeau, from Rural Coordination.

European mobilization

In the Senate, the boss of the first agricultural union FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau, explained “calling for calm and reason” to French farmers whose “waiting is enormous”, “with obviously (…) issues that cannot be resolved in three days.” But for lack of “in-depth” answers, the Agricultural Show at the end of February will not be “a health check” for politicians, he warned. His union stood out from the Rural Coordination by rejecting the idea of ​​a “coup de force in Rungis”.

The aid released on Wednesday by the French executive and the concessions from the European Union (EU), on fallow land and Ukrainian imports, do not seem to find favor in the eyes of the profession, also mobilized in Italy, Spain and Germany.

In addition to the emergency funds already announced for cattle breeders, organic farmers or farmers affected by storm Ciaran, wine growers in difficulty will receive 80 million euros in aid, announced the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau. In Brussels in the evening, he called on the Commission to quickly “simplify” the procedures of the common agricultural policy (CAP), calling for “very concrete things” and promising proposals with other member states.

On the eve of a European summit, French and Belgian farmers “together” blocked a crossing point on the border between the two countries denouncing “the distortion of competition” ratified by the free trade agreements and are expecting “distortions of competition” on Thursday. very strong announcements”.

A sign of intense negotiations behind the scenes, the Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, received officials from the Rural Coordination and the Peasant Confederation on Wednesday, after the FNSEA and the Young Farmers, on Monday and Tuesday.