French tobacconists block border with Spain in cigarette price protest

| October 8, 2012

About 100 French tobacconists have blocked access to the border with Spainin the south-western frontier village of Perthusto protest against a recent price hike on cigarettes and other tobacco products, according to an Agence France Presse story relayed by Tobacco China Online.

The demonstrators set up barricades along a four-kilometer route to denounce a 6.5-10.0 per cent increase in prices introduced this month, saying they were being forced out of business.

One sign set up on the roadblock read: ‘A new network created by the state – tobacco mafia’; while another read: ‘Smuggling = 15,000 cartons per Sunday and destruction of the economy’.

Hordes of French people descend on the village every weekend to cross the border and snap up cheap tobacco and alcohol in Spain.

Gerard Vidal, the head of a local tobacconists’ body, said the difference in prices between those of Spain, where cigarettes sold for as little as €4.25 a pack, and those in France, where the lowest was €6.10, was “catastrophic.”

Category: Breaking News

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