CAP reform talks postponed again

01 March 1999

CAP reform talks postponed again

By FWi staff

NEGOTIATIONS on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been delayed until Thursday evening after an ultimatum from the French government.

The talks, due to begin again in Brussels tomorrow, were postponed after French prime minister Jaques Chirac said there was little point attending.

European officials were told that the meeting should be called off because the proposals to be discussed were the same as those rejected by agriculture ministers during last weeks failed talks.

Germany, which holds the EU presidency, agreed to postpone the negotiations to allow more time for member states to consider their positions.

France, whose farmers receive the biggest share of the 30bn CAP budget, is determined to oppose deep cuts in support proposed for cereals, milk and beef.

Germany, on the other hand, which contributes more to the CAP than its farmers receive, is adamant that the cuts are essential.

The dispute is growing increasingly bitter and representatives from the two countries clashed during the heads of government summit in Bonn at the weekend.

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