French President Dines With Royalty As His Country Burns

While parts of his country burn as part of massive protests staged by local farmers, President Emmanuel Macron of France is attending lavish dinners with Sweden’s royal family.

On Wednesday, French farmers set up blockades around Paris as part of larger protests that have been going on for roughly two weeks. According to ABC News, tractors blocked individual lanes and even whole sections of highways.

Police officials in France arrested 79 people involved in the protests on Wednesday alone.

France’s government responded this week by sending armored vehicles to Paris to protect a market that sells food wholesale, as it was reportedly going to be the target of the protesters’ ire.

Despite these arrests, and the response from the French government, the protesters seemed determined to pressure the government to change policies that they say are threatening their livelihoods.

The farmers are angry about increased taxes as well as agricultural policies that loom throughout the European Union. The French farmers have been joined in recent days by farmers in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany who have also initiated protests for similar reasons.

The protests have already seemed to get the message across, at least somewhat. Leaders of the European Union’s executive commission proposed putting limits in place on Ukrainian farm imports, while also easing certain green regulations.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has been battling the protests on the ground in France, saying this week that the country would be putting controls in place on food products from foreign countries, which would guarantee “fair competition” to the country’s farmers.
Food retailers who aren’t in compliance with local laws that provide farmers with fair revenue shares would immediately be fined.

“We need to listen to the farmers, who are working and are worried about their future and their livelihood,” Attal said, according to The Associated Press.

Yet, while that’s going on, Macron has been jet-setting around the world trying to drum up positive thoughts about France. He traveled to India first and then dined in luxurious surroundings with Swedish royalty afterward.

Talk about a stark contrast between the working class and the “upper crust.”