Demonstrations by farmers from various regions of France who are angry about the effects of the European Economic Community's (EEC) agricultural policy, continued in Paris on Friday (20 February).
GV & CU Economy and Finance Ministry (2 shots)
MV Crowd gathering and handing out leaflets (2 shots)
CU Leaflets on windscreens of cars (2 shots)
MV Demonstrators with banners and kegs of wine (5 shots)
MVs Demonstrators handing out wine samples and giving away free potatoes to general public (5 shots)
Initials CL/0045 CL/0052
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Background: Demonstrations by farmers from various regions of France who are angry about the effects of the European Economic Community's (EEC) agricultural policy, continued in Paris on Friday (20 February).
Between 800 and a thousand of them gathered in front of the French finance ministry building and distributed wine and potatoes - as well as leaflets - to people passing by. They came mainly from the regions of the south-east, Rhone in the Alps, Burgundy, and Franche Comte.
Afterwards, the farmers marched to d'Awsterlitz station and distributed more wine, cheese and leaflets to the general public. The day before (Thursday) they had demonstrated at another Paris station, St. Lazare, where they sold potatoes which are currently in very short supply.
The potato shortage throughout Europe has indeed become critical because last year's harvest was 25 per cent down on the average. Last year the EEC produced only 33 million tons of potatoes, as opposed to the annual average of 42 million tons.
Other problems that are making the farmers angry are the embarrassing surpluses in the Community of milk-powder, beef, butter and wine. To solve the potato shortage, the European Commission has proposed a Community-wide organisation for marketing the potatoes. But their proposal appears to be based on the assumption that there are plenty of potatoes for everybody. The Commission has not endeared itself to the French farmers.