EU refuses to help farmers hit by low milk prices

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EU refuses to help farmers hit by low milk prices

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The European Commission has rejected a call from a number of countries – led by Estonia and Poland -to help dairy farmers hit by the falling price of milk.

EU milk production is up three percent so far in 2012, leading to an oversupply in the market place.

Britain and Germany oppose any intervention, arguing that the problems in the milk sector are largely structural.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos said emergency measures could not be justified, especially as European exporters benefit from the current weakness of the euro against the dollar.

Ciolos also noted the increase in milk production in the EU forms part of a global trend, but said the Commission would keep track of price movements over the next weeks and months.

Meanwhile, Ireland and other EU nations have called for sanctions against Iceland and the Faroe Islands for over-fishing, the latest chapter in an ongoing ‘mackerel war’.

Both unilaterally hiked their mackerel quotas, angering EU fishing states.

The European Commission reckons mackerel fishing this year will be 36 percent above sustainable levels.