21 February 2000
Vote for British beef, German states urged
GERMAN health minister Andrea Fischer has warned the countrys regional governments to vote for Germany to lift its ban on British beef.
The regional governments in the German upper house – the Bundesrat – are due to consider the ban on 17 March.
Ms Fischer said that continued defiance against lifting the ban could lead to heavy fines.
The German cabinet favours lifting the ban, but a number of the regional governments have opposed the move.
Last week, the European Commission began the first stage of legal action against Germany for its refusal to accept British beef.
Proceedings are already under way against France.
The European Union lifted its three-and-a-half-year BSE ban on British beef in August last year.
Germany and France continued embargoes, citing health fears.