18 December 1998

French aid for pigs criticised

NATIONAL measures designed to prop up Breton pig producers have been condemned as state aids by the EU Commission, which has initiated legal proceedings against the French government.

The £11.7m package includes the postponement of social security contributions and the underwriting of loans to recent investors. "These are straight operating aids, which are not compatible with the common market and threaten to distort competition by favouring French producers," says the commission.