Mr. Rousseau, of the FNSEA, contrasted the “attentiveness” of Gabriel Attal — Mr. Macron’s newly appointed prime minister, who has spent much of the past week trying to placate the farmers — with the European Union’s “deafness.”
“Europe is our future,” Mr. Rousseau said at the news conference in Paris. But he added, “We do not understand this technocratic Europe.”
Previous attempts by Mr. Macron’s government to appease the farmers had mostly failed. Winegrowers, grain growers, cattle farmers, fruit and vegetable producers, and others have complained about being buried in environmental hassles and administrative paperwork as they struggle to make a living wage.
But on Thursday, the two main farmers’ unions hailed “tangible progress” after a new round of announcements that added to a growing list of concessions the government has made over the past week to contain the protesters’ anger.
Mr. Attal said that France would give livestock farmers an aid package worth 150 million euros ($163 million), push for a clearer E.U.-wide definition of lab-grown synthetic meat, temporarily pause a national plan to reduce pesticide use, and ban the import of foreign produce treated with thiacloprid, a pesticide that is already outlawed in France.