EU calls US a hypocrite
EU FARM commissioner, Franz Fischler, has lambasted the latest round of government aid announced by Washington, which will have "serious potential consequences for world markets".
The new financial package, signed off by President Clinton last weekend, includes an extra $3.5bn (£2.4bn) in disaster relief, and takes total direct aid to US farmers for 2001 to $23bn (£15.9bn). It comes just a week before the US election, in which the farm vote could be crucial.
But the EU has been quick to criticise the move, accusing the US of hypocrisy. "This is the fourth time in three years that the US congress has thrown additional money at agriculture," said Dr Fischler, pointing to the risks to global trade. *