3 September 1999


&#8226 NOMINEE EU farm commissioner Franz Fischler has passed with flying colours his latest test to secure another five years in the agriculture hot seat in Brussels. Interviewed by MEPs at the start of the week, as part of the selection process for the new team of commissioners, Mr Fischler won widespread support for his reappointment.

&#8226 FORMER Spanish farm minister Loyola de Palacio, who has been nominated to serve as vice-president of the EU Commission, faced a much tougher grilling when she was quizzed by MEPs. Attention focused on her role in a recent fraud scandal, in which area aid was paid on Spanish flax crops which did not exist.

&#8226 FRENCH farmers union FNSEA has expressed grave concern at the planned merger of the countrys two leading supermarkets, Carrefour and Promodes. "Farmers will see their margins totally eliminated," it warned. The combined group will have a turnover of £31bn, second only to US retail giant Wal-Mart.

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