Immersed before the legislative elections: parachuting of Poutou, agricultural crisis, anchoring of the RN… in Aude, a feeling of “chaos”

Immersed before the legislative elections: parachuting of Poutou, agricultural crisis, anchoring of the RN... in Aude, a feeling of "chaos"

Nicolas Lassalle, Gascon cow breeder: Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

After the agricultural demonstrations of last winter, what do farmers, breeders and wine growers say about the policy?? In Aude, Midi Libre measured the ambient unease, among breeders on isolated lands of the Black Mountain as at the gates of the coast.

Farmers and politics in Aude ? "We had the Red Midi, we are far from it. That explodes, then we continue as before", observes an expert in the agricultural world. It was here, a year ago, that a wine grower let go "Go make the soup bitch"&nbsp ;to Marine Tondelier, national secretary of EELV, and to MP Sandrine Rousseau. The three RN deputies of the department took up the insult with complete impunity, in an agricultural demonstration.

Won by MP Christophe Barthès in 2022, the first constituency is the "circo" de Mailhac, the town of Gérard Schivardi, far-left presidential candidate, in 2007. Philippe Poutou, another contender for the presidency of the Republic, has just been parachuted there by the New Popular Front.

We know the context: the  world "peasant" is moribund, from breeding to vines. From breeding to vines, from north to south, this is the route traced from Moussels, in the commune of Martys, in the Montagne Noire, on the borders of the Tarn, at the gateway to the Mediterranean , in Lézignan-Corbières.

Nicolas Lassalle, Gasconne breeder in the Montagne Noire: "At the agricultural show to take the photo"< /h2>

"It’s chaos" : Nicolas Lassalle, 62 years old, breeder&nbsp ;from Gascon of the Pyrenees, in the Montagne Noire, in Martys and in Labastide-Esparbairenque, president of Interveb (Interprofession livestock and meats of Occitanie), is " very very very worried" : "There is the plague, cholera, and in the middle, typhus", sums up the authentic rustic Audois " and apolitical", who sometimes plays on his homonymy with Jean Lassalle. Right now, he's having to deal with life in slow motion. in ministerial cabinets, "without a representative to defend the peasant world".

He also has his eyes on another election, that of the chambers of agriculture, in 2025: "It could be that several tilt".

The FNSEA representative, who "cannot imagine not being an actor in my environment", he is first deputy to Labastide-Esparbairenque, 50 inhabitants. This is his sixth term: "The village voted RN to the Europeans, we are  yet we are in a socialist stronghold", he recalls, on the land of the late Raymond Courrière.

"Fuck us, Poutou, too! What do you want him to come and see the misery!…. Barthès does the job, even if we are the asshole of the world. We haven’t seen too much of the latest PS elected officials. Politicians just come to take photos at the agricultural show. I got a slap on the wrist because I had spoken with Marion Maréchal. But I also spoke with Raphaël Glucksmann! And in previous years with Marine Le Pen, Chirac ; Sarkozy… I don't care about labels, what interests me are competent people.

Because the challenge is immense: 'Here, there are 30 farm ruins, over 10,000 hectares. It was an agricultural plateau. Between the fir trees planted by companies coming to tax exemption, and the wind turbines, there is only us, my son and me.

Camille Lassalle, who "has never missed an election", "finds that politics is disconnected from the agricultural world".

Catherine and Jean-Pierre Rouanet, sheep breeders: "Promises are okay for a while"

Immersed before the legislative elections: parachuting of Poutou, agricultural crisis, anchoring of the RN... in Aude, a feeling of "chaos"

Jean-Pierre and Catherine Rouanet, dairy sheep farmers for Roquefort; “There is too much cronyism.” Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

In Les Jouys, in the commune of Pradelles-Cabardès, Catherine and Jean-Pierre Rouanet, 60 and 61 years old, milk producers for Roquefort, talk about this abnormally wet weather which complicates mowing and threatens the quality of straw bales, of the desire to retire. “We will have 800 or 900 euros each, after having worked 42, 43 years”, complains Catherine. The children will not take back, we must sell.

In the meantime, the couple "looks at everything" for shopping in Mazamet, or at the traveling grocer and butcher. Every day, the alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m., the 300 sheep have to be milked before the milkman comes. Sixty-five hours of work per week. And if the price of milk has increased, "there are more charges".

"I can't stand politicians, there's too much cronyism", says Catherine, a former worker at Buisson in Mazamet, who has since left for Morocco. She earned 10 francs for a dressing gown that sold for 200 francs. On June 9, she held the polling station in La Pradelle. The RN was ahead, which is no longer a surprise in these lands deserted by the services: "The ophthalmologist has retired, it’s become easier to schedule an appointment in Paris when we go to see our daughter. The MSA offered me an oral check-up but who are we going to?? We are in a desert.

"Promises are fine for a while. I didn't think we would go so low. Macron doesn't know what people are going through, said Catherine. For her, sheep farming has not been heard" during the latest agricultural demonstrations .

"I am moderate, it worries me about the extremes", adds Jean-Pierre, unionized at the FNSEA which also makes this observation: "The large agricultural unions do not defend us".

Julien Ferrand, director of the Alliance Minervois cooperative: "Fed up with inaction"

"The result of the European elections reflects what the profession feels, fed up with the inaction of governments for years , faced with increasing environmental and administrative constraints, in a context of falling wine prices. Nothing has changed after this winter's demonstrations, confirms Julien Ferrand, director of the Alliance Minervois wine cooperative.

"We didn’not see a single candidate" in the legislative elections also deplores the Audois, who reports a growing feeling of insecurity, " with the theft of fuel and equipment, we can no longer leave a machine outside.

Christophe Malfaz, winegrower in Lézignan-Corbières: "The RN is not there by chance"

Immersed before the legislative elections: parachuting of Poutou, agricultural crisis, anchoring of the RN... in Aude, a feeling of "chaos"

Christophe Malfaz, from Domaine Saint-Jaume, in Lézignan Corbières: “You have to be exemplary”. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

You should not trust the label. At the Sainte-Jaume estate, in Lézignan, the first "micro-cuvée”, in 2023, from an  domaine stamped "organic for seventeen years", until now dedicated to trading, is called "L’insouciance".

It's Thomas Malfaz, a newcomer to the exploitation of the AOP Corbières, and player of the Carcassonne XIII team, like his father in the past, who chose.

"I think we are at the end of a path", notes Christophe Malfaz, a "real peasant" who "has tears that flow when the frost hits the vines". Today&rsquo ;today he is’out because’he "worked like an ant". He doesn't want to talk about politics: & quot;We only get into trouble. He is inexhaustible.“The RN did not come about by chance, it is the result of dozens of years of laxity. We must be exemplary… Now, here we are. How do we do it ? If the RN comes to power, it will be civil war… But can you imagine that we no longer have Doliprane ? France, after all ! We attack and kill teachers, we no longer respect the police… Agriculture too, we have destroyed it. You take away the CAP drips, and that's the end of the sketch", notes the winegrower, who is afraid of being seen as "a fascist".

Times have changed. "Lézignan, it’s a whole life on the left. And one day, a far-right guy we didn’t know arrived in the second round. We had to get back to work. No, we continued… It's not my side but when you see the mayor of Béziers elected with 70% in the first round, hats off, greets Christophe Malfaz, who will always vote" nbsp;: "I wonder if it's worth it".

Immersed before the legislative elections: parachuting of Poutou, agricultural crisis, anchoring of the RN... in Aude, a feeling of "chaos"

Guilhem Pedreno, winegrower in Laure-Minervois: “We campaign differently”. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

Guilhem Pedreno, winegrower in Laure-Minervois: "Politics, I still believe in it, I believe less in elected officials"

With "L’Engagée", the name of the latest vintages, packaged in recyclable bottles, the Prat Majou estate, 25 hectares &quot ;all organic" in Laure-Minervois, also announces the color.

If Géraldine, the partner, left viticulture and politics to take the initiative in the associative environment, "our daughter, a teenager, is an activist in PS" like his parents yesterday, confides Guilhem Pedreno, 42, manager of a domain that has also become one of the rare integration companies in the sector, which is increasingly banking on diversification to ensure its economic balance because it is increasingly difficult to sell wine: a gîte was set up two years ago. Tomorrow, we will perhaps plant an olive grove, almond trees.

“We do activism differently, we have kept our values. But what will be the public policies" that provide essential support for projects, asks Guilhem Pedreno ? Until now, "the solutions provided to the crisis are completely beside the point".

A few days ago, a letter from the organic farming federation, which analyzes all the programs of the candidates for the legislative elections, and the past positions taken by the parties, arrived in the farm's mailbox.

In a Minervois "having moved from the left to the far right", Guilhem Pedreno knows that election results are not only about that : "When I was 20, any socialist was elected. A crisis situation makes the extremes rise. We are not in a debate of ideas, we vote against", notes the winegrower, "worried". Does he still believe in politics ? "Yes, to make things happen, there is only politics. But elected officials, a little less".

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