EUROPEAN Union (EU) members denounced the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform blueprint yesterday, in an attack led by Germany, Spain and Ireland.
Even countries which indicated general support made it clear at the Brussels meeting that they wanted substantial changes.
Most ministers are unhappy about what they see as inadequate compensation for proposed cuts in guaranteed prices for milk, beef and cereals of up to 30% and plans for allocating an increase in milk quotas. Spain and Greece were strongly against proposed changes to the olive oil regime.
The United Kingdom and Denmark were broadly in favour of the reforms, although the UK thinks the proposed changes to the dairy regime are too timid and believes it “wholly illogical” to allocate new quotas to mountain areas.
It also feels direct payments compensating for price cuts are too high and wants reform of the sugar and sheepmeat regimes.
It is still thought the broad thrust of the proposals will be adopted, although changes will have to be made.
The fierce backlash means there will be a struggle to achieve approval by early next year for Agenda 2000, of which CAP forms a crucial part.
- Financial Times 01/04/98 page 2
- The Daily Telegraph 01/04/98 page 2