EU Parliament Approves Tobacco Growing Subsidies till 2013

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 20, 2008, Tuesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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The European Parliament approved Tuesday the so called Berlato Report, which proposed the extension of subsidies for the producers of raw tobacco by 2013, the press service of the EP announced.

The controversial report, which also provides for the increase of EU funds for information campaigns against smoking, was approved with 379 votes in favor, 244 votes against, and 14 abstained.

The 2004 EU reform of the tobacco production sector provided for the gradual abolishing of the tobacco subsidies in the Union between 2006 and 2010.

5% of all funds are transferred to EU "Tobacco Fund" financing anti-smoking campaigns. The Report of the Italian MEP Sergio Berlatto proposes 6% from all funds until 2013.

Thus, the decision of the EP is in contrast with the policy of the European Commission, which favors the abolishment of all tobacco production subsidies after 2010.

The EP debate showed the conflicting interests of the northern EU states, and those from Eastern and Southern Europe, who are the Union's tobacco producers, and who put forth economic, social, and environmental reasons to support the extended tobacco subsidies.

The northern states maintain that the support for tobacco production was in contradiction with the EU policy for limiting smoking.

The EU is the largest importer of tobacco in the world, but ranks only fifth among the world's tobacco producers after China, Brazil, India, and the USA.

The EU states producing tobacco are Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Portugal.
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