Hogan stays true to form as major EU farm body calls for his resignation
Sinn Féin MEP and member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development committee, Matt Carthy, has said that Commissioner Phil Hogan is failing farmers in Ireland and across Europe. Mr. Carthy’s comments come in the week that the President of the European Milk Board, Mr. Romuald Schaber, call for Commissioner Hogan’s resignation.
"It took just a single year in office for one of the major EU farm bodies to call for Phil Hogan’s resignation. The call will be of no surprise to Irish people who are well aware of his disastrous legacy as government minister.
“This weeks pronouncement from the European Milk Board must be seen in the context of the huge challenges facing the Dairy sector and Phil Hogan’s failure to respond adequately.
“For months the situation of dairy farmers has been deteriorating, yet Commissioner Hogan is in complete denial. Last September he declared ‘I don't think that many farmers are producing at below the cost of production. They say that they are, but at the end of the day they continue to produce’.
“This not only shows incompetence on the Commissioner's part, but also ignorance. Ignorance of the situation of dairy farmers producing at below 25c/L and ignorance of the policy measures required to rectify it.
“The €500m package offered by the Commission in September has done little to stabilise prices with the real issue being due to the imbalance between supply and demand. Despite this, Commissioner Hogan as recent as last week championed these measures to EU Agriculture Ministers in the AGRI Council meeting declaring, ‘the milk market is becoming more stable’.
“His failure to act on the dairy crisis and the subsequent call for his resignation from such a major farm body simply confirms the fact that he was an unsuitable nominee as Commissioner.
"Irish farmers and the agricultural community deserve better. For the unique position of the dairy industry to be realised and supported, there needs to be a change. With the top agricultural voice in Europe denying the existence of a problem, this change cannot happen.
"To prevent further suffering of the dairy industry, Commissioner Hogan needs to seriously consider his position.”