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The rise of the far right in France and its implications for Murcia's agriculture

The rise of the far right in the European Union, especially in countries that are important markets for fruit and vegetable products, represents a growing concern for the Region of Murcia's agricultural sector. This fear is fueled by the potential increase in protectionist barriers that could hinder access to these markets. The recent rise of Marine Le Pen's party in France, and the consequent call for legislative elections by President Emmanuel Macron, is perceived as a threat to the interests of Murcian producers.

It isn't an unfounded concern, considering past incidents in which Murcian truckers were assaulted on French roads by pickets of local farmers. These French farmers find Spanish products, and to a lesser extent Italian products, compete directly with their productions. Thus, despite being EU goods, they hinder their transit and commercialization. Interestingly, this resistance does not apply to products from Morocco, an external country to the EU in which the French have significant investments in the fruit and vegetable sector.

Joaquín Gómez, president of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Fruits, Table Grapes, and Other Agricultural Products (Apoexpa), expressed caution against the rise of radical parties in the EU, particularly that of Marine Le Pen. Gomez highlights France's historic rivalry with Spanish agricultural products, which are frequently accused of unfair competition. The current situation invites us to reflect on the impact a European policy more inclined towards protectionism and demagoguery, fueled by the popularity of the far right, could have.

José Miguel Marín, president of Coag in the Region of Murcia, highlighted the importance of maintaining the free movement of goods within the EU, a principle threatened by protectionist positions. Murcia contributes significantly to Europe's food supply, accounting for 25% of the fruits and vegetables that Spain exports. This situation requires attention and measures that ensure the continuity of agricultural trade in the face of emerging political challenges.


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