EU/USA: EU ministers back Commission stance on Caribbean banana quotas
The European Commission has persuaded EU ministers to back its refusal to rewrite its first-come-first-served approach to the granting of temporary quotas to Caribbean banana exporters, a move that could be the beginning of the end for the long running dispute.A meeting of the Council of Ministers accepted the Commission's refusal to base quotas on previous trade patterns, a proposal that had proved unacceptable to many delegates at the World Trade Organisation.Despite asking for detailed examination of some technical concerns, a communique said: "The Council considers that the Commission (proposal)provides a basis for settling the banana dispute, which can, and now must, be resolved rapidly." It is poised to rubber stamp the plan, after it has been debated by the European Parliament.
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