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France profonde

There are two ways of looking at the CAP: the British view that it is a French stitch-up, or the French notion that we must protect family farms and cultural heritage

By Tim King   August 2005

English tourists flying to Rodez airport at the beginning of July were alarmed to find the arrivals hall blocked by a delegation of French farmers, press and television cameramen. Tempers were running high over Tony Blair’s attacks on European agricultural subsidies, and British tourists, perhaps remembering the lorryloads of British lambs burned alive by French farmers in the 1990s, feared the worst. Heads lowered, they wheeled their trolleys aggressively towards the glass doors. In fact, the farmers were there in a spirit of reconciliation—Sourire pour les touristes anglais (Smile for the English tourists)—a campaign devised by the farmers’ union (FNSEA)…

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