Following a meeting with Argentina's agriculture minister Miguel Angel Paulón in Barcelona, Franz Fischler, EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, announced that he intends to propose a special autonomous import quota for high quality beef. "Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary responses. Argentina is suffering a major economic and social crisis and Europe has promised to help. In light of these unique circumstances, I will propose to the Commission the opening of an autonomous import quota of 10 000 tonnes for quality beef ("Hilton beef"), in addition to the annual quota for Argentine beef of 28 000 t for the period July 2002 to June 2003. Again, the EU is showing that it is a good customer and a good friend to Argentina. The EU is the first country to have reopened its markets for Argentine meat imports after the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. Now we are the first to take trade expanding measure to assist the recovery of the Argentine economy. I truly hope that other countries will join the EU in its move".