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Carthy challenges Phil Hogan on EU Agriculture Package

21 September, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

The Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, challenged Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan during the a plenary sitting of the European Parliament held on Wednesday in Brussels.

Addressing Mr Hogan in the Parliament, Carthy, a member of the Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, said:

"Commissioner, this challenging period was also an opportunity. It was an opportunity for you, as Commissioner, to show farmers across Europe that you understood the crisis many of them are facing.

"It was an opportunity to show that this commission was capable of proposing measures that would make a real difference to farmers, not just during this period, but measures that could actually tackle the huge price volatility that is fast becoming the hallmark of European agriculture.

"However Commissioner, this package represents an opportunity wasted.

"A once off aid package that represents, for instance, €13.7million for Ireland - advance payments of monies that farmers were already entitled to - Limited state aid measures.

"None of this represents the radical action that was required to not just resolve this crisis but to provide the certainty that is necessary for farmers to manage their finances into the future.

"I fear that in the coming years we will return to this place, we will witness one crisis after another in one sector after another.  I also fear many will be questioning their future in farming unless an urgent re-think is forthcoming by you and the commission”.

Speaking after the debate Carthy said:

"Phil Hogan and the EU Commission are failing to address the underlining issues causing income distress for farmers.  He needs to be challenged by the government that appointed him.  For my part, I, and my Sinn Féin colleagues, will continue to stand with the farming sector right across the island, supporting them in their demands and ensuring the contribution that they make to our island is reflected in what is delivered to them at an EU level."


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