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German minister says France must stop food imports blocks

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Staff writer ▼ | July 31, 2015
France must ensure free movement of goods in the European Union after blocks by French farmers disrupted food imports this week, German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said.
Europe   A problem is the united market
The European Union Commission called on France to ensure goods could flow freely through Europe after French livestock and dairy farmers blocked imports from German and Spanish producers in a dispute over low French food prices.

French farmers' border blocks against food imports from countries such as Germany were not acceptable, Schmidt said on German radio station Deutschlandfunk.

"We are in a single market. And that must be adhered to. France exports more agricultural products than it imports. I have not seen that the French farmers have been hindering exports, so they should not hinder imports," he said.

He was also critical of the French government considering a buy-French scheme for food, recalling that a similar idea had been considered in Britain some years ago.

"These are things which do not comply with the single market and the spirit of the single market," Schmidt said. French farmers should instead review why they may not be competitive in some sectors, he said.

Germany's government will not start a buy-German campaign for food, he said.