Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

France

Paris agriculture show opens amid discontent over Sarkozy snub

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-02-27

The Paris Agriculture Show opens its doors Saturday, with an estimated 700,000 visitors expected to attend. But French President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision not to inaugurate the event has caused tongues to wag.

The International farm show, a beloved annual tradition dating as far back as 1870, opens on Saturday at the vast Porte de Versailles exhibition hall in southern Paris.

Dubbed the "world's biggest farm", the show is expected to draw a record 700,000 visitors to celebrate French farming.

According to the show’s official website, an estimated 2,000 animals, 17,000 types of agricultural products and over 3,000 wines will be on display. In addition to displaying their wares to the general public, industry professionals compete for prizes in such diverse categories as wine, smoked oysters and vanilla. 

Don’t fear the reaper

The event however opens under a dark cloud after the presidential palace announced that French President Nicolas Sarkozy would not be inaugurating the fair and would instead appear at the tail end of the show.

Jean-Michel Lemétayer, the president of the main agricultural union FNSEA, expressed dismay at Sarkozy’s decision not to inaugurate the show during an interview with Europe 1 radio station. Sarkozy “has lots of problems with the rural sector”, enplained Lemétayer. The president’s attendance at the opening “would have been a symbol of his intention to defend this profession” he said

French agriculture suffered a significant financial setback in 2009 as revenue for agricultural products dropped 34 percent. For dairy products, the drop reached a dramatic 54 percent.

Dismissing the criticism, France’s agriculture minister, Bruno le Maire, told French channel I-télé that farmers and producers “have the president’s ear”.

The French president is expected to use the event to make fresh announcements in favour of agriculture, according to the farm ministry.

But Sarkozy has a tough act to follow. His predecessor Jacques Chirac, a beloved fixture at the farm show, used to spend up to six hours touring stalls, stroking cows, tasting culinary delights and chatting with farmers.

Sarkozy’s first visit to the show as president in 2008 was marred by a sharp exchange with a man who refused to shake his hand.

The encounter’s footage became an overnight Internet sensation, drawing tens of thousands of clicks on online video-sharing sites.

Date created : 2010-02-26

COMMENT(S)