Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-05-15-Speech-1-058"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, I would first like to congratulate our rapporteur, Mrs Jeggle, on her work, and say that, in fact, this price package is no longer as important as it has been in the past, since, fortunately, it has started to turn into the presentation and definition of agricultural policy in the medium term. This is why, only recently, we carried out a reform of Agenda 2000: these price packages tend merely to make annual adjustments in response to one-off situations. The current price package comes at a time when the Commission has promised to present proposals for reform in various sectors over the current year, specifically the rice, sugar, fruit, vegetable and oil sectors. I hope that these reforms do take place. There is one particular situation that I would like to highlight, which concerns the issue of fruit and vegetables and which is of particular importance to my country. We are all aware of the iniquity of the present regulations of the policy on processed tomatoes. Changes to quotas are made between Member States, and this happens every year within a framework which does not take account of unforeseen changes in the climate or the market, and this creates a permanent state of instability in the sector. A short while ago, therefore, following Mrs González’ report, the European Parliament approved the urgent establishment of guarantee thresholds at Member State level and the Commission was asked to present these proposals as a matter of urgency. However, in the price package, the Commission has not presented anything in this regard to remedy the situation, and the Commission does not appear to be in any hurry to put forward a proposal either. My country is likely to lose 10% of its quota if the COM proposal is not adopted quickly, and this, quite frankly, is unacceptable. So the question is, why has the Portuguese Presidency not adopted initiatives to ensure that a proposal would be put forward with due haste? And why do they use the argument that “the tomato industry cannot be reformed because there is no money” when we spend the money we have on things other than agriculture, such as the financing provided for Kosovo?"@en1

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