Insurgent Wine Producers Bomb France

Independent (UK);

Terrorist attacks by radical wine producers on government offices in the south of France yesterday served notice that the country’s wine crisis may be spinning out of control.

Sticks of dynamite were thrown at agriculture ministry offices in Montpellier and Carcassonne in the early hours, causing serious damage but no injuries. A car was also burned outside ministry offices in Nîmes.

The attacks, which were condemned by mainstream wine producers’ associations, were claimed by a group called comité régional d’action viticole (Crav).

The same group was responsible for incendiary attacks on supermarkets and explosions outside the offices of wine traders in the Languedoc- Roussillon area last month.


Apart from an increase in the 70m in special aid and 3m in export subsidies already promised, the wine growers are demanding more government cash and permission from the European Commission for the subsidised distillation of 2,500,000 hectolitres of red wine to reduce the French “wine lake”, which is depressing wholesale wine prices. This is equivalent to removing 333 million bottles of wine from the market by turning them into industrial alcohol.

Brussels has promised to give a reply once similar requests have been received from Italy and Greece, which have surpluses of their own. In 2004, French wine exports fell 10 per cent in value – the sixth successive year of decline. Production of wine in terms of volume increased by 23 per cent.

I presume the French are asking themselves where they went wrong to make wine producers hate them so.

hat tip

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Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.


  1. Maggie says:


    Leaked document fuels French wine debate
    March 10, 2004
    Oliver Styles

    “The French government is considering proposals to reduce annual alcohol consumption in the country by 20% per head over the next 5 years, according to French newspaper Libération.

    Libération quotes a leaked report produced by the MILDT (the Inter-Ministerial Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Abuse), which predicts that wine consumption in France will DECLINE BY 50% OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD. . . .

    ‘This is something to make winemakers jump with rage,’ said Libération.

    ‘There has been a leak. The document is in the hands of the Prime Minister,’ said a spokesperson from the MILDT, ‘but it has yet to be arbitrated by the government.”