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McHugh - Agriculture Dept needs to support rural communities

14 May, 2003

s its' act together then it is highly unlikely that this money earmarked for our rural communities will be lost. In particular there is a deep well of sympathy in Europe to the loss of significant money that the EU has made available to develop tourism and specifically money lost in the NRRT programme.

"In detailed discussions with Dr Corrado on CAP reform it is clear that finance ministers across Europe are looking to take money out of agriculture. It is important that we examine in detail the CAP reform package in its entirety, particularly as there appears to be a push to get this dealt with in the Geneva Summit in June 2003. We need to ensure there are direct payments to farmers and we need to look fully at the global situation." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Sinn Féin Agriculture team of former Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA Gerry, Kerry TD Martin Ferris and Armagh Assembly candidate Cllr Pat O'Rawe are in Brussels to meet with senior EU officials.

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