Minister to defend government's agricultural policy

Source: LBA Actualiteiten
In a newspaper article, the Spanish minister of agriculture, Miguel Arias Cañete, has fiercely defended the common agricultural policy of the European Union (EU).
The main points were:

  • The agricultural policy of the EU promotes the sale of high quality products. The policy maintains the economic activity of the countryside.

  • Farmers encourage and bolster employment in industry and sale. They keep traditions and culture alive, as well as the countryside and nature itself.

  • Forty percent of the EU budget is used for the agricultural policy. This is not as much as it seems, because agriculture and fishery are the only sectors that have a seperate EU policy. Other sectors receive money from national funds. Comparisons show that agriculture doesn’t get the most money.

  • Despite criticism that the EU would disturb world trade, it is the biggest importer in the world. It’s made agreements which allow the 49 poorest countries in the world to import without import taxes. As a result, the EU is the most important consumer market for developing countries.

  • Due to reforms in the sugar trade policy it has become possible to make arrangements where the poorest people keep a privileged access.

  • The newspaper article ended with the words: ‘We cannot live with an agriculture that has no future, because without agriculture there is no future.’