SP votes against extension of EU milk quotas

12 March 2008

SP votes against extension of EU milk quotas

The SP's European Parliamentary group today voted against the European Commission's proposed 2% extension of milk quotas. The SP instead supported the alternative proposal to give member states the space to decide their own level of quota for themselves.

Kartika LiotardIn the SP's opinion the extension of quotas would not be appropriate at the present time. SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard, a member of the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture, said that "The price of milk might be relatively high at the moment, but there is no guarantee that it will remain so in the future. After a number of difficult years dairy farmers are at last getting a bit of breathing space, so the last thing the European Commission should be doing is increasing supply and thereby forcing prices back down."

Liotard notes also, with some alarm, Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fisher-Boel's determination to bring about the total abolition of the quota system by 2015. "Quotas are necessary if we are going to limit European production," she says. "A major increase in production would lead to a further lowering of the price of milk which means that not only European farmers, but also dairy farmers in developing countries would find themselves in serious financial difficulties," she said.

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