Thursday, June 23, 2005

dumping


The opposition to reform of  the CAP is not as entrenched in France as we (British) tend to think. This morning I heard two outspoken critics of (ultra-) liberalism, that is, people on the 'no' to the referendum left.

Jacques Nikonoff, President of ATTAC-France, (France Inter, QUESTION DIRECTE, 23 Jun) said that reform of the CAP is necessary, though European agriculture must still be protected.  José Bové (BBC, World Today, 23 Jun - sorry, page linked is not current - it was after 6:30 GMT) said it was unacceptable that it led to dumping - surpluses being sold on world markets at below the price of production - to the detriment of developing countries.  
"food sovereignty." It means that each population should be able to eat from its own agriculture. The main issue for the farmers is to feed the population where they live: their own families, the local market, and then the national market. (link)
For how EU policies currently lead to dumping of sugar, see here and here.

There are clear signs that the Christian Democrats in Germany could be positioning themselves close to Tony Blair (Libération).  Following the failure of the EU summit, Angela Merkel was careful not to place any blame on Mr Blair. In the pro-CDU popular daily Bild, the British leader wrote about the cows that cost '2 euros per day'.
depuis l'échec du référendum français sur la Constitution européenne le couple Chirac-Schröder est moribond. Et même les plus francophiles des chrétiens-démocrates n'ont pas de mots assez durs envers Chirac, le représentant d'«un modèle totalement dépassé».
Mind you, simplification fiscale is not exactly how most people in Britain would see Labour's tax changes.

Update: full text of Tony Blair's speech to the European Parliament. Key para, from a quick scan
Fourth, and here I tread carefully, get a macroeconomic framework for Europe that is disciplined but also flexible. It is not for me to comment on the Eurozone. I just say this: if we agreed real progress on economic reform, if we demonstrated real seriousness on structural change, then people would perceive reform of macro policy as sensible and rational, not a product of fiscal laxity but of commonsense. And we need such reform urgently if Europe is to grow.
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