22 September 1995

Competition is real fear

A MUTUAL fear of competition still exists despite the opportunities which EU enlargement can offer, keynote speaker Michael Tracy told last weeks agri-environment conference in Hungary.

He described as "paradoxical" the situation where farmers in both the EU and the CEECs were fearful of more competition resulting from community enlargement.

Referring to a recent survey, he said 58% of farmers in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia expected to lose from closer ties with the EU. Only 17% of farmers in those countries expected to gain.

When the public was asked, 38% thought farmers would lose and only 31% thought they would gain, said Mr Tracey. &#42