15 February 2002


uEU finance ministers have given a frosty response to the commissions proposals to spend k40.2bn (£24.6bn) on enlargement from 2004 to 2006. Meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (Feb 12), they said the plan was too expensive. And the UK joined others in attacking the idea of paying even a reduced level of income aid to farmers in the new member states.

uSUPPORT for EU membership in Poland has slipped following publication of the commissions enlargement proposals, which suggest farmers in new member states should get just 25% of the direct payments for existing farmers, reports Reuters. A poll by a Warsaw research centre found 54% favoured membership compared with 60% in December.

uHEAD of the Belgian food agency AFSCA, Luc Beernaert, has resigned following further failures in the countrys safety controls. Last week samples of pig feed slipped through untested and were later found to contain cancer-causing polychlorinate biphenyls (PCBs). This week traces of the banned antibiotic sulphonimide turned up in poultry feed.

uEU food safety commissioner David Byrne has written to German farm minister Renate Kunast demanding a full explanation as to how a lab in Bavaria was able to test for BSE without a licence and four other labs operated to unacceptable standards. The scandal has led to the recall of large quantities of beef and further dented German consumer confidence. &#42

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