CAP reform talks deadlocked - Farmers Weekly

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CAP reform talks deadlocked

24 February 1999
CAP reform talks deadlocked

BRUSSELS – Talks to reform the Common Agricultural Policy are in deadlock, with two of the European Unions most influential farm ministers refusing to budge from entrenched positions …more…
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CAP reform talks deadlocked

24 February 1999
CAP reform talks deadlocked

By FWi staff

BRUSSELS – Talks to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are in deadlock, with two of the European Unions most influential farm ministers refusing to budge from entrenched positions.

Germany, which gives more money to the CAP than its farmers receive back in subsidies, wants the European farm budget cut in line with proposals made by the European Commission.

But radical reform of the CAP is opposed by France, a country whose farmers receive much more money back in subsidies than it donates to Brussels.

Compromise papers tabled so far by the Germans show only minor changes to the commissions original proposals, and have infuriated the French.

The papers maintain the commission-proposed subsidy cuts at 30% for beef, 20% for cereals and 15% for milk, with only partial compensation on offer in the form of direct income aid.

Further moves designed to appease other countries include extra suckler cow quota for Austria, Finland and Sweden, with extra entitlement for beef special premium for Spain and Portugal.

But this is opposed by British farmers who are holding out for compensation for the impending end of their Calf Processing Aid Scheme (CPAS), due to finish in July.

Parts of Britain are already suffering annual reductions in beef special premium payments and some British producers believe the end of the CPAS will further depress the sector.

They fear the end of the CPAS will bring more calves on to the market and argue that this should be offset by a substantial increase in the UKs upper limit for beef premiums.

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