Wednesday, 5th March 2008
The President of the Irish Farmers' Association Padraig Walshe has said Ireland stands to lose at least €2 billion euro from any deal negotiated by EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson at the World Trade Organisation talks currently taking place in Geneva.
Speaking at a protest staged outside the offices of the European Commission in Dublin by around 500 farmers, Mr Walshe accused Commissioner Mandelson of far exceeding the negotiating mandate based on the CAP reforms of 2003. He said, 'Mr Mandelson is prepared to sell out the beef industry in Ireland to get a deal at any cost.'
The IFA claims Mr Mandelson is willing to offer tariff cuts of 70% on beef to imports from outside the EU, which it says could halve Irish cattle prices to €1.60 per kg in the next few years, and decimate our suckler cow herd. Farmers also fear Mandelson is proposing similar tariff cuts for dairy products, and zero tariffs for lamb imports.
In response, the European Commission office has pledged to strive for 'a balanced deal' and reassured farmers that it would not go beyond the negotiating mandate. In a statement, it added that the chances of concluding the deal are 'far from certain', and that other member states 'need to make a much greater contribution' if any agreement is to be reached.
Fianna Fáil MEP Liam Aylward has also promised to hammer home the point in Brussels that the EU proposals at the WTO talks are 'totally unbalanced from an Irish viewpoint'.
The IFA has urged the Irish government to use its veto to block any further concessions by Mr Mandelson. Padraig Walshe also warned that Irish farmers would be unlikely to support the Lisbon Treaty in the referendum, if Mr Mandelson's proposals on world trade are approved.
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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