Wine Protests in France
It's time once again for angry French winegrowers to take their disgruntlement to the streets. Growers in the southern regions of Avignon, Beziers, Narbonne, Bordeaux and Nimes are demanding that the government help out the floundering industry with a variety of measures from tax easements to special loans. Paris spent more than $130 million in aid to the wine sector in 2005 alone. As wines from the U.S., South America and Australia gain more of the market and French drinkers continue to consume less of their own wines, the problem continues to plague the growers. According to Decanter, the desperate situation, in which some growers have seen their income decline by 50%, has led to several suicides in the region. It seems to be a problem that worsens every year and no real solution, beyond turning the wine into industrial alcohol which is more of a stopgap at best, has been found.