World Bulletin / News Desk
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for farmers who set fire to public buildings in the Breton town of Morlaix last night to be prosecuted after their protests over red tape and a drop in vegetable prices escalated.
The protestors, numbering around 100, arrived on tractors, ransacked and set fire to the MSA agricultural mutual insurance building before going on to burn the local tax office, Jean-Luc Videlaine, prefect of the Finistere region of Brittany, told Reuters.
They then headed to the town's viaduct, where they set on fire a pile of artichokes, broccoli and potatoes. They dispersed around midnight GMT, with no arrests.
"It is particularly shocking that the fire service was prevented from doing its job," Valls said in a statement on Saturday. "Legal proceedings will be carried out against the perpetrators of these acts."
Angry farmers had already carried out protests this week, dumping vegetables that they were unable to sell at an acceptable price onto several main roads.
Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll also condemned the violence in a separate statement, adding that two meetings were already planned in the coming week with agricultural representatives.
"Nothing can justify these acts of violence, therefore," he said, calling on all parties to calm down and act responsibly "to find solutions to manage this crisis".Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2014, 17:44