EU: Brussels clears French beef handouts
The European Commission has authorised France to pay state aid of around €75.5m (US$66.5m) to cattle farmers who suffered losses because of the BSE crisis between November 2000 and December 2001.
The average aid is likely to be Euro 1,000 per producer up to a maximum of €2,000 for single farms and €6,000 for jointly run operations. Usually, Member States are not allowed to pay such subsidies, but Brussels has cleared this handout because of "the exceptional character of the crisis on beef and veal markets."
The money will be paid as direct aid to stock farmers and relief through payment of interest charges.
By Keith Nuthall, just-food.com correspondent
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