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Possible EU rift after Barroso calls French cultural exception 'reactionary'

brussels bureau

Possible EU rift after Barroso calls French cultural exception 'reactionary'


Trade between the US and EU that could give each a boost of over 75 billion euros a year will be discussed in early July, but the audiovisual industry is off limits.

Citing a “cultural exception” France has managed to keep that area out of future talks.

This move may have opened up a division within the EU, after the International Herald Tribune quoted European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso describing the French stance as “reactionary”.

Barroso was in Northern Ireland on Monday for G8 meetings alongside both US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart François Hollande.

Upon arrival in Northern Ireland, when Hollande was questioned about Barroso’s “reactionary” comment, the French president said he did not believe Barroso had said it.

In an attempt to protect homegrown and European cinema from Hollywood, France had threatened to block July’s trade talks unless Europe’s movie and television industries were excluded from any trade pact.

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