The growing tension between farmers and the French state


Two health and safety inspectors believe their car was deliberately sabotaged during a visit to a market gardener in west France, and are furious that prosecutors dropped their investigation. The affair highlights mounting tension between state officials and farmers as the latter protest about low prices and as the government tries to placate farmers' ire by telling officials to ease off on their inspections. Mathilde Goanec reports.

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At the end of January two health and safety inspectors got back into their official car following an inspection of a tomato producer's business in Brittany, west France. A few minutes later they heard a suspicious noise and a passing motorist signalled them to stop. The two inspectors got out and found that three nuts were missing from a rear wheel while the fourth nut was half unscrewed.