French farmers heckle Presdent Hollande as he opens farm show


Livestock farmers booed and whistled as Hollande appeared at Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris; they later tore down a government stand.

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President François Hollande was heckled Saturday as France's annual agricultural fair kicked off against the backdrop of the "worst crisis ever" facing the country's farmers, reports The Economic Times.

Livestock farmers booed and whistled as Hollande and agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll made their way through the vast hall in southern Paris, walking past a large banner reading: "I am the best in my profession but my passion is no longer enough."

After months of protests across the country that saw farmers blocking roads with their tractors or dumping manure outside government offices, security was tight outside the venue. Still, around 9.30am, dozens of protestors from the main farmers union, FNSEA, tore down the stand belonging to the French agricultural minister before being stopped by the CRS, French riot police.

Inside, flag-waving representatives of farmers' unions were the first to greet the president, who spoke with them for some 20 minutes before going on to admire the fair's mascot, a Bazadais cow from southwestern France named Cérise (Cherry).