French winemakers plan day of action

French protest strike News Wine News
  • Thursday 11 November 2004

French winemakers are planning a national ‘day of action’ which will see them stage demonstrations across France on 8 December.

The protesters will assemble in the major winegrowing regions of the country to voice their discontent over the lack of financial help from the government and ‘difficulties’ faced by the industry over the past few years.

‘Our viticulture, the image of France worldwide, needs a helping hand at a time when numerous winemakers are fragile and could disappear,’ said the FNSEA, an agricultural union.

Last July several unions representing winegrowers across France met with the French agricultural minister to demand ‘swift financial assistance’.

‘Since then we’ve had no reply,’ said Christian Gely, the head of the viticultural branch of the FNSEA.

‘We are not getting anywhere, neither by negotiation nor by meetings. We are forced to go to the next level and go onto the streets because, unfortunately, this is the only way to make ourselves heard,’ Gely told AFP (Agence France Presse).

Demonstrations are planned in the four main wine regions of France: Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire and Southern France.

Many French winegrowers face increased financial difficulties linked to a drop in domestic consumption and exports worldwide. Current estimates indicate that around 500 producers in Bordeaux alone are facing bankruptcy.

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