June 11, 2018 / 6:18 AM / 8 months ago

French minister says farmers' blockade of refineries, depots illegal: RTL radio

French farmers, members of the FNSEA, the country's largest farmers' union, block with their tractors the access of the French oil giant Total refinery in Donges, France, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s farm minister said on Monday that a decision by farmers to launch a blockade of oil refineries and fuel depots to protest a government decision to allow Total to use imported palm oil at a biofuel plant was illegal.

Stephane Travert said the government will not back down on its decision to allow Total to use imported palm oil.

“This blockade cannot be the solution to the discussion that we are going to have. This blockade is illegal. It is not by blocking refineries that we are going to find adequate solutions,” Travert told RTL Radio.

French farmers began a blockade of oil refineries and fuel depots on Sunday evening over the decision which has fanned farmer discontent.

Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Jason Neely

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