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EU tells Sweden to repay farm subsidy

AFP/The Local · 22 Sep 2011, 15:21

Published: 22 Sep 2011 15:21 GMT+02:00

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Swedish farmers received the aid for their pastures between 2005 and 2007 after the EU introduced a new type of subsidy called "single farm payment", agronomist Lars-Erik Lundkvist of the Federation of Swedish Farmers (Lantbrukarnas riksförbund - LRF) told AFP.

But the criteria to qualify for the aid were confusing, primarily because of "an unclear definition of what constitutes pasture", Lundkvist said.

As the Swedish government interpreted the regulations differently than the EU Commission, farmers received money to which they were not entitled.

The dispute was mainly between the government and the commission so the state will repay the majority of the funds, but around 10,000 farmers will have to dish out about 300 million kronor.

"We think that sounds like a lot of money," Lundkvist told AFP.

He said some of the farmers may appeal the decision.

Story continues below…

Sweden received a total of €947 million in EU farm subsidies in 2008, approximately €12,977 per farm.

Among the top regional recipients were Skåne with €173 million, Västra Götaland with €147 million, and Östergötland on €71 million.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:55 September 22, 2011 by Svensksmith
What the EU giveth, the EU taketh away.
16:40 September 22, 2011 by Nemesis
Good to see the EU starting to tackle farm fraud.

I hope to see more of this in the future.
17:11 September 22, 2011 by SockRayBlue
OK. Tell me once again why it was a good idea to join the EU?
17:23 September 22, 2011 by zircon
No use to pretend sleepwalking into economy.
17:31 September 22, 2011 by J Jack
That explains why all the farmers around here have new tractors, SUV's and house extensions ... I guess an indoor cow prison could be mis-understood as a pasture if it was built on one ..
23:21 September 22, 2011 by Nemesis
@ SockRayBlue

Do you really believe you would have a job in Sweden without the EU?

The EU and the Euro goes tomorrow at least 25% if not more of GDP of Europe will disappear overnight and a lot more in Sweden.

The reason countries want to join the EU is simple. They want access to a large and growing economy and flexible easy to do business across border/markets. Reinstatement of borders in markets and people, would destroy the european economy.
02:59 September 23, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
And what Sweden giveth--especially in the case of the Sami--Sweden taketh away.

@Nemesis: EXACTLY!
15:09 September 23, 2011 by calebian22
The EU is harmful to the Swedish economy. The idea that it is one Europe, one people is baloney. Get out and forge a union with Norway, for starters.
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