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Tuesday, 06 October 2009

Aids for fruit and vegetable sector: Paris outlines its methods

When ordered to recover between 500 and 700 million Euros paid out in subsidies to the fruit and vegetable sector, France was asked to spell out how it intended to recover these funds. Bruno Lemaire disputed the figures and asked for “more time”, but France has now finally responded within the time limit. On Tuesday 29 September Paris sent Brussels an “interim report” on the European Commission’s decision on aids to the fruit and vegetable sector. In January 2009 the European Commission ruled that the “plan de campagne” payments to the fruit and vegetable sector between 1992 and 2002 had been illegal. The agriculture minister Bruno Lemaire was asked to tell the EC how he planned to recover the money. Brussels is asking France to claw back 500 million Euros (338 million plus 150 million in interest) and the Commission is also contesting the legality of another 200 million Euros said to have been granted to fruit and vegetable producers by the sector’s professional organisations.

Source: Euractiv