Thursday, October 11, 2007


It was one month ago that Sarkozy discussed the EU's Common Agricultural Policy. Today it seems that the European Commission does not quite see eye-to-eye with the French president. The Commission's main concern is to reduce food prices to consumers, and to that end it wants to open European markets to food from abroad, where production costs are lower. Sarkozy prefers to maintain "an absolute EU preference." On the other hand, he also wants to wean European farmers from dependency on EU subsidies. He hopes to achieve this by encouraging the production of biofuels, for which prices are rising (and are contributing to the rise in food prices worldwide, since grain and corn otherwise employed in the food chain are diverted to fuel products). This fundamental difference in outlook is likely to come to a head when France assumes the EU presidency next year.

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