Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-03-10-Speech-4-026"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the proposed reform of the common organisation of the market in sugar runs counter to the aims of the common agricultural policy, namely ensuring a dignified standard of living for farmers and the sustainable development of agriculture, and it also contradicts the Lisbon Strategy. The proposal to reduce both the A and B quotas is unacceptable. Its impact will be strongest in the new Member States, particularly in Poland, where the sector has already been cut drastically in recent years, and only 43 out of the original 78 sugar processing plants remain. There has been no investment in modernisation. Instead, workers are being condemned to unemployment, and consumers are paying more for their sugar, not less. There is a real threat that sugar production will be concentrated in just a few plants due to the transfer of quotas between Member States. As a result, sugar would be produced in the regions where farming is most expensive. It is also incorrect to claim that importing more sugar from the poorest countries into the Union will improve the financial situation of those countries. On the contrary, only speculators and trading companies will profit. EU taxpayers and farmers, including those from Poland, will be the ones who pay for this. Poland will become an importer of sugar, whereas previously it was one of the main producers. The Commission’s proposal for reform of the sugar market will result in a monopoly by the large undertakings that are already absorbing their competitors. This is all to be promoted by quota cuts and by the so-called transitional reduction in prices, lowered to dumping levels. It appears that the common agricultural policy is only common for a select few, and that is dangerous. Thank you."@en1

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