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Swedes slam 'outdated' farming subsidies

The Local · 9 Feb 2013, 16:42

Published: 09 Feb 2013 16:42 GMT+01:00

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Agricultural subsidies will take the biggest share of the European Union’s budget to 2020, despite a 13 percent drop in future agricultural spending, under a deal struck by EU leaders this week.

France and other major farming nations thwarted attempts by Britain and its northern European allies to shift a greater share of EU spending towards new measures to boost growth and jobs, reported Reuters.

As a result, farm subsidies will consume some 38 percent of the EU budget for 2014 to 2020, equivalent to 3.1 trillion kronor ($486 billion) of the 8.3 trillion kronor total, or around 430 billion kronor a year.

Many Swedish politicians and lobbyists worried that the subsidies would be slimmed-down even more.

"I was afraid that it would be even worse, but it is still not good," Ulf Holk, a Green Party MP, told the TT news agency.

He is particularly disappointed that the direct subsidies, which he labelled "outdated", will not be reduced and that the EU's Rural Development Programme will not get the support it needs.

Swedes have criticised the direct support initiatives that are based on how many hectares an agricultural property spans and are aimed at strengthening European agriculture against international competition.

The Rural Development Programme focuses on boosting employment and on developing the environment and rural areas in their entirety.

The Social Democrats' economic spokeswoman, Magdalena Andersson, was not happy about the outcomes of the budget negotiations, either.

"I would rather have seen that the money that goes straight to passive agricultural assistance was radically reduced, but there are other countries that feel strongly about going in a different direction," said Andersson.

Whether or not domestic funds will make up for the money lost as a result of the EU cuts is far from clear at this point.

Story continues below…

Thomas Bertilsson of the Federation of Swedish Farmers (Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund) hopes that the government will cover the difference.

"Ultimately, it is a pretty substantial reduction. It affects both the countryside and the environment," said Bertilsson.

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Your comments about this article

04:20 February 10, 2013 by Eric1
So I bet the EU returns the money to the taxpayers since they want be spending the money on farm subsidies. I guess I will dream on.
07:23 February 10, 2013 by skogsbo
i think everyone got their rebate, provided the French were allowed to the agri subsidy scheme as it is. Which has little to do with paying farmers for the things that matter and paying the French (and 1 or 2 others) farmers to keep on farming inefficiently at tax payers expense. Hardly a free and open market, when some nations farmer receive massive handouts from the EU, whilst also ignoring more of the EU regulations on animal welfare. Only 6 EU nations are now fully enforcing new pig farm laws, but those who ignore them are also those taking the larger farming EU handouts too... the EU is a farce. The UK, Sweden, Denmark etc. should band together and sort the Euro lot out.
10:49 February 10, 2013 by RobinHood
The next time you see a French farmer parking his Porsche Cayenne (and I kid you not, this is the preferred model for French farmers), congratulate him for being the beneficiary of one of the most corrupt wealth transfer systems ever created.
21:28 February 10, 2013 by jeanne d'arc
Corruption in the European institutions ? I didn't know thanks for the news,

Now I inform you about English corruption : Libor scandal , from Barclays, Royal Bank o Scotland, bonus, golden parachute, paid by English tax payers.

The city of London a fiscal paradise according to the magazine Forbes, how strange.

Stupid people like me believe that the Isle of Man, Guernesey, Jersey, are places for money laundering.

A friend of mine back from England told me that English people are real gentlemen by education, but by education only, they are hooligans otherwise.

I didn't believe him of course.
22:13 February 10, 2013 by skogsbo
jeanne, what the english bankers get in bonuses annually, the french farmers get in hand outs every month, the agri subsidies given out are in a league of their, why else would the france or the french farmers not want the whol scheme overhauling? Because the system is corrupt. A third of the whole of the EU budget is agri subsidies, that's absolutely massive, not just a few millions to some failed CEO, but BILLIONS.

Go to farmsubsidy dot org, then search for france. 9.9 Billion Euro went to France, annual average of 18,000 euros for every single farmer.
23:43 February 10, 2013 by jeanne d'arc
So everybody is informed what the corrupt French farmers receive every month and every year from the corrupt European budget , by internet

What the clean bankers are doing in their paradise can't be read by anybody : IT IS totally secret.

I know what is the job of a farmer : to provide foods for people.

I know what is the job of bankers : to prepare catastrophe.
07:59 February 11, 2013 by RobinHood
@ jean 'd arc

Setting aside banking scandals, which are not the subject of this forum, please would you justify why rich French farmers, year on year, receive nearly 38 percent of the entire EU budget (430 billion sek per year).

If you are unable to do so, shame on you and all your countrymen for turning a fine idea (the EU) into a tool of French corruption and waste, and ruining it for everyone else.
08:15 February 11, 2013 by skogsbo
the fact is french farmers to getting about 50% more than UK, Swedish, Irish, Germany, Dutch, Polish farmers.... all from EU handouts.

It's no wonder the EU is a mess and the idea of a free and open market economy is a joke. How can any country compete on price and production, when the manufacturer in one countries is massively subsidised.

ps. what the bank get is irrelevant. French farmers are being paid by tax payers in every other EU nation. Even Italy get's much less than the French and everyone thinks they corrupt.

Jeane, you need to read the facts.
20:59 February 11, 2013 by jeanne d'arc
French farmers receive more, because there are more farmers in France than in others countries.

European budget is decided in Brussels by representatives of every countries. It is transparent. We can talk about, like here.

France which was at the origin of the common market, with Germany, had an important agriculture sector at the time.

There are people defending companies interests in Brussels, apparently for the French farmers it is a kind of mafia, for financial activities it would be called : a lobby.

A lobby can represent totally secret activities, you cannot have an opinion on them because they don't practice transparency.

When the banking system makes profit it's for them, when they do huge losses, it is for the tax payers : too big to fail.

Lehman Brothers, AIG, Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac, received a credit rating AAA few days before bankrupt : that was real corruption.

The farmers responsible of the failure of Europe, you're looking for a scapegoat, to cover financial disastrous activities.
21:46 February 11, 2013 by RobinHood
@ jeanne d arc

No, I'm sorry, that just won't do. You are unable to offer an adequate explanation why a few thousand very rich people are entitled to receive 38 percent of the entire EU budget.

You and your country are corrupt.
09:05 February 12, 2013 by skogsbo
Jeanne, no French farmers get 50% more per farm than any other country.
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