26 March 1999
French dig in over farm reform

THE European Union (EU) summit in Berlin is deadlocked by French resistance to scaling down the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The heads of government meeting, called to agree the EUs overall budget, is locked in disagreement over agricultural spending.

Reform plans have provoked resistance from Jacques Chirac, the French president, who shows few signs of accepting a deal already worked out by farm ministers.

Germany tabled a proposal outlining two ways of saving up to Euro6.8 billion (£4.5bn) a year from the CAP.

One involved a year-on-year reduction in direct payments to farmers for compensatory cuts in guaranteed prices.

The other concerned the postponement of reforms that are expensive in the short term because the delay would mean compensating farmers.

France has produced counter-proposals aimed at delaying reforms to the milk regime.

Changes to milk subsidies would hit French farmers hardest.

  • The Times 26/03/02/99 page 1, 18
  • The Independent 26/03/02/99 page 13
  • Financial Times 26/03/99 page 1, page 3
  • The Guardian 26/03/99 page 15
  • The Daily Telegraph 26/03/99 page 1, page 16