Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-19-Speech-1-140"

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"European farmers who grow tobacco should not receive a single cent from the EU for it. Obviously tobacco subsidies have been a huge source of revenue for farmers for many years, a sort of social security policy that did not deserve the name. However, tax revenue should not, on principle, be spent on unhealthy products. Hence there is only one choice as far as subsidies are concerned: abolish them. The proposal in the Berlato report is a ridiculous attempt to get tobacco subsidies extended until at least 2012. That should not happen, and there is another reason for this. Developing countries see it as totally unfair that European tobacco should be subsidised. It is unfair competition with poor farmers and it is directly counter to European Union development policy, a classic example of the way in which one policy area can cut into another. Encourage European farmers to grow crops that now bring in a high price, such as grain, which is badly needed. Show solidarity, though, and let the tobacco subsidies go up in smoke, for the sake of public health and for the sake of cohesion in European policy for the development of the poorest countries in the world. That is solidarity."@en1

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