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French PM: Too little too late to help farmers

Staff writer |
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the European Commission "done too little, too late," in response to a downturn in agricultural markets.

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According to Valls, France had in particular called for ""market regulation measures" in proposals submitted ahead of a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers later this month.

The Commission, which manages the EU's common agricultural policy, last year granted 500 million Euros ($556 million) in extra aid for farmers to counter falling prices and oversupply, partly linked to a Russian embargo on Western food imports.

But prices have continued to decline in some agricultural sectors, sparking fresh protests since the start of the year in France.

Within France, the government is also discussing potential measures to help farmers with supermarket chains, Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said after Monday's meeting.

France, the largest agricultural economy in the EU and the biggest single beneficiary of EU farm subsidiaries, announced last month 290 million euros of aid for livestock farmers, on top of several hundred millions pledged last year after a wave of summer protests.

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