【刘伯温今期马报图今期图_刘伯温今期马报图今期图官网】France to ask for additional cash advance for farmers as heatwave worsens drought, hurts crops

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PARIS, July 22 (Xinhua) -- France will ask the European Commission to pay additional subsidies in order to help farmers to better cope with tense heatwave which has deepened drought and damaged corps, the country's Minister of Agriculture Didier Guillaume said on Monday.

Noting that local farmers were witnessing a "terrible moment" following successive heatwaves, Guillaume told Franceinfo radio that the French government "will ask the European Union to increases advances in October, which will represent 1 billion euros (1.122 billion U.S. dollar) in additional cash."

"The situation is difficult," the minister warned, adding that "currently, animals eat what is in stock, which is to be reserved for this winter... After drought, farmers need help to buy hay in October to feed their livestock."

Following frequent hot spells and lack of rainfall throughout the year, groundwater level has decreased to the lowest since 2014, and rivers are drying up, forcing authorities to restrict water use in 73 departments.

A new episode of heatwave will grip most French cities this week, prolonging drought conditions that have already affected wine output.

France, one of the world's top wine producers and exporters, saw its wine production down between 6 and 13 percent this year from the 2018 data, the ministry's data showed.

"Hot and dry air that causes this spectacular increase in mercury" will make temperatures rising ruthlessly in eastern, central and southern regions, the country's meteorological services predicted on Monday.

Temperatures in Paris is forecast to reach as high as 41°C on Thursday, surpassing the previous record temperature for July which stood at 40.4 degrees Celsius in 1947.

"As of Tuesday, the minimum level of temperature will be most often between 20 and 25 degrees, while the maximum will swing between 36 and 40 degrees. Some slightly higher temperatures may be observed in some places," said Meteo France.

"These temperatures should begin to drop significantly on Friday," it added.

With hot air continuing to blow in from the Iberian Peninsula in the southwest corner of Europe, 22 departments in southwest and southeast France are placed under orange alert.

Authorities have activated a level-three heatwave action plan which provides the setting up of "cool rooms" in municipal buildings, opening pools for late-night swimming and offering access to garden parks by nightfall to help people cool off.

At the end of June, an unseasonably hot weather brought record-breaking temperature to most French regions. It reached 46 degrees Celsius -- the highest on record -- in the southern city of Gallargues-le-Montueux. It was nearly two degrees above the previous high of 44.1 degrees Celsius recorded in August 2003.

France, where temperature average stands at 19.9 °C for the June-August period, is witnessing "more intense and more frequent heatwaves "due to climate change, warned Meteo France. (1 euro = 1.122 U.S. dollars)