14 December 1998
EU softens banana attitude

THE European Union (EU) has taken a more conciliatory position in its bananas dispute with the USA, in a bid to avoid any embarrassment when EU leaders meet President Bill Clinton later this week.

Sir Leon Brittan, EU trade commissioner, is reported to be offering a “conciliatory” proposal for breaking the deadlock tomorrow (Tuesday). The proposal has not been specified.

The US has threatened Brussels with an all-out trade war over the EUs preferential market access to bananas from former colonies of France and Britain.

It is due to publish tomorrow a final list of products subject to the sanctions.

President Clinton is having talks with Jacques Santer, the European Commissions president, and Viktor Klima, president of the EU Council of Minister, later this week.