5 April 2002

Demo against French

FARMERS with placards staged a protest as a French market was held in a city centre.

The farmers were protesting over Norwich City Councils decision to go ahead with the event at a time when the French governments was illegally banning imports of British beef.

They presented the leader of the 32 stallholders with a rib of beef although it was later handed to a local charity for the homeless because the import ban prevented it being taken into France.

Tony Williams, chairman of Norfolk NFU, said: "This is a somewhat friendly protest because we have nothing against the French stallholders themselves. It is the French government which is acting illegally."

Farmers accused the city council of giving tacit support to the illegal ban by going ahead with the market.

But a council spokesman claimed that, while the French governments decision was not being condoned, no good would be served in cancelling the event.

"It had been planned for some time and is the result of public demand following the success of those held previously."