Brussels to put 550m less behind farming


By FWi staff


PLANNED spending on farm support for next year has been revised down by Euro930 million (550m), EU budget commissioner Michaele Schreyer said this week.


The savings are being attributed to further declines in the value of the Euro against the Dollar, and this years unforeseen improvements in world commodity prices.


The first of these had had the effect of reducing the cost of export subsidies for goods sold outside the EU, worth an estimated Euro430m (250m) in 2001.


And rising commodity markets had enabled Brussels to clear many of its intervention stocks, leading to further savings in storage costs.


The revised budget is therefore set at Euro38.7bn (22.9bn) for farm support, with another Euro4.495bn (2.6bn) for rural development programmes across the 15 member states – well within the Euro44.5bn (26.3bn) limit.


That is good news for farmers, making it less likely that direct aid payments will have to be raided to pay for reconstruction in the Balkans, and other commitments.


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