Barricaded Highways and a Deadly Incident as French Farmers Rise Up

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A car plowed into a barrier set up by protesting French farmers early on Tuesday, killing one woman and injuring her husband and daughter, as France faced growing rural fury at perceived overregulation and increased diesel fuel prices.

The new government headed by Gabriel Attal, the 34-year-old prime minister, faced its first crisis with barricades spreading across highways throughout the southwest of the country. The protests mirrored similar demonstrations in Germany, driven by a sense of marginalization among farmers that the extreme right has been quick to exploit.

“This is the France of the forgotten,” Jordan Bardella, the president of the anti-immigrant National Rally party, said during a visit to the Bordeaux region on Saturday. “The fight for agriculture is also the fight against rural effacement, the cry of a French people who do not want to die.”

Rural discontent has also contributed to a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany party, known as AfD, and the Dutch Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders. A political, economic and cultural abyss between the populations of major cities and what the French call “the periphery” has been a factor in the rise of anti-establishment, nationalist movements from the United States to Western Europe.

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Barricaded Highways and a Deadly Incident as French Farmers Rise Up

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