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Ferris opposes threat to farm payments

18 October, 2005

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has voiced his opposition to a threat by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to cut farm payments. Deputy Ferris was speaking as Ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss proposed cuts as part of the forthcoming negotiations at the World Trade Organisation.

Deputy Ferris said: “The Irish Government must resolutely oppose any move to cut EU farm payments. When the Single Farm Payment was agreed as part of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the clear understanding was
that there would be no changes until at the very earliest 2013. Commissioner Mandelson’s proposal, therefore, would represent a major betrayal of trust, and undermine the basis of whatever income security was gained through the introduction of decoupling. We have already seen Irish sugar beet producers and workers being sacrificed on the altar of the WTO and must strenuously oppose any further moves to damage the interests of
Irish agriculture.”  ENDS

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