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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Monday, August 29, 2005

CAP Reform? Not everyone agrees

Tony Blair wants to reform CAP, but is seeing huge resistance from France. Here is the reason why:
Francois Fihue's dairy farm in the Normandy region of northern France gets only 20 percent of its annual revenue from selling milk. The other 80,000 euros ($99,604) come from European Union subsidies.
Why bother with producing milk at all? In macro terms:
In 2003, France's 613,000 farmers received 9.2 billion euros, or 21 percent of all EU farm aid. Spain was next with 14.1 percent, and the U.K. received 8.9 percent.
There is 9 Billion reasons to resist. Then there are those who try to rationalise it.
Former EU Agriculture Commissioner Franz Fischler, 58, says the aid is needed not just for food but to preserve open land on an increasingly crowded continent.
Surely we could turn the farms into national parks and the farmers into wardens if that is the idea? I’m sure it would cost less and be much better for the ecosystem.
What part of a farmers job is the most important? "We lobby,'' says Fihue, who is also president of the regional Chamber of Agriculture. "I consider it part of my job.'
Well so would I if 80% of my income depended on it.

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