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Ferris welcomes Minister's assurances on farm payments

16 November, 2005

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Food, Martin Ferris TD, has welcomed an assurance from Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan that she will "strongly resist" any attempt to change EU farm payments through the World Trade Organisation. Deputy Ferris was speaking in reference to the Minister's reply to a question he placed regarding proposals by Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson to make CAP payments part of a future trade deal.

Deputy Ferris said: "There is alarm among farmers following recent statements by Commissioner Mandelson and it is some reassurance that the Irish Government has committed itself to opposing any change to the current system of farm payments. It is important that the decoupled Single Farm Payment is safeguarded under the 'green box' criteria that defines it as non trade distorting and that agriculture is not made the sacrificial lamb in order to arrive at a trade deal that will damage farmers in the EU." ENDS

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