December 13, 2005


Blame it on the French (Julio Godoy, 12/14/05, Asia Times)

French opposition to reform the European common agricultural policy is at the bottom of the difficulties the World Trade Organization (WTO) is expected to face in Hong Kong this week.

The French refusal to agree to a cut in European subsidies for agriculture within the common agricultural policy (CAP) will also be at the core of EU talks this week on a long-term budget. [...]

Jean-Gabriel Fredet, a leading commentator at the weekly newspaper Le Nouvel Observateur, said France's stubborn agricultural policy based on mass production and a phobia of free markets "represents the culprit our critics [at the WTO negotiations] have dreamed of".

France, he wrote, was fighting "its last fight" in defending European subsidies for its farmers.

Britain's ambassador to Poland, Charles Crawford, described the subsidies in a leaked internal e-mail as "the most stupid, immoral state-subsidized policy in human history, give or take communism".

That should be the example the textbooks use for a dispositive statement.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 13, 2005 8:11 AM
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