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Europe

Frosty Reaction To EU Sugar Policy Reforms

A reform of the EU sugar subsidy regime, due to be unveiled by the European Commission next month, has been met with a frosty reception from campaign groups. NGOs have criticized the proposed reforms for not going far enough. Jo Leadbeater, Head of Oxfam International's EU Advocacy Office said: "The proposed reform package will not end the dumping of sugar which destroys poor people's livelihoods." In addition the proposal would not increase developing countries' access to the European market, but would in fact cut the price they receive for their current modest exports to Europe. "This shows that Brussels is not listening to developing countries and is not serious about genuine sugar reform," she said. EU Agricultural Commissioner Franz Fischler is expected next month to propose a cut in guaranteed sugar prices by about one-third by 2007. This would make sugar cheaper to European consumers, but not bring the prices down to the world market level. Sugar prices on the EU market are currently two to three times higher than on the world market. ( EUobserver.com)

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