French Farmers Block Traffic Near Paris With Tractors

Barricades of tractors and bales of hay snarled traffic around Paris on Tuesday for a second day as hundreds of angry farmers blocked roads in and out of the French capital before a major policy speech by France’s prime minister.

The authorities closed off whole sections of at least seven major highways around Paris because of the protests, sometimes for several miles, as farmers demanded solutions to their varied list of demands on farming subsidies, environmental regulations and foreign competition.

About 1,000 protesters with more than 500 tractors formed the road barricades around Paris, according to estimates by the French authorities reported in the news media.

The traffic bottlenecks, while bad, did not encircle the city and were not crippling, and broader disruptions to the French capital, such as delayed deliveries of food and other products, were so far limited.

Protesting farmers also blocked roads in other areas of France. In the southwestern region, where the protests started and where they have been particularly acute, farmers tried to block access to the main airport serving Toulouse by setting bales of hay on fire.

The French prime minister, Gabriel Attal, was expected on Tuesday to give his first major policy speech since his appointment to the position by President Emmanuel Macron this month.

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