France Orders New Aid to Fishermen Angry Over Cheap Imports
PARIS (AP) _ France ordered new financial aid today to fisherman who have staged violent protests over imported fish flooding local markets, undercutting the minimum prices received for fresh catches.
The government instructed the secretary of state for the sea, Charles Josselin, to compensate fishermen for their losses beyond the $1.8 million promised in February.
He did not give a specific sum, telling reporters details of the plan would be worked out next week.
A committee of wives of the protesting fishermen wasted no time calling the measures insufficient.
″We’ll wait and see, but it’s nothing,″ said Christine Nedelec, head of the committee in the Brittany maritime region. ″What we want is aid for our activity, limits on imports and a raise in the minimum prices.″
Interior Minister Paul Quiles visited the bedside of a police chief struck in the head by a signal flare fired by a fisherman during protests Tuesday in Bayonne.
The chief remains in critical condition on respiratory and cardiac support. A fisherman has been arrested in the case.
Several people have been injured and hundreds of tons of imported fish destroyed in three weeks of protests.
The compensation was announced a day after European Community fishing ministers rejected Josselin’s request for a 30 percent minimum raise in the price of certain fish and a ban on foreign fish from the 12-nation EC.