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Slovakia backs EC sugar reform

Slovakia supports a European Commission proposal to reform the sugar sector, Agriculture Minister Zsolt Simon confirmed November 23.

Simon made the comments in Brussels after a meeting of European Union agriculture ministers, according to news wire TASR.

The EC proposal, to take effect in 2006, will sharply reduce sugar production quotas and prices for sugar beets.

The proposal comes in response to criticism from EU's poorest countries that the sugar regime is unfair.

Ten EU member states oppose the planned changes-Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Slovenia and Ireland.

"The proposal will have a devastating effect on farms and other businesses in the sector," agriculture ministers from those countries said in a letter to the EC. "It will result in fewer EU countries producing sugar beets and sugar."

Slovakia's Simon said: "Slovakia favours the reform because it is in the interests of consumers."

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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