The Times from London now has some figures showing the absurdities of agricultural protectionism in Europe. The EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is an abomination and French farmers receive more than British and German farmers combined from this obscenity.
Bono and Bob Geldof would have done better campaigning to abolish the CAP in order to assist the poor of the developing and developed world, than to bleat on about aid.
The Times reports:
131,000 French farmers receive €20,000 or more a year from the EU. 3,200 get more than €100,000 per annum, the biggest beneficiary was a rice farmer who got €866,290 in 2003. How can European taxpayers justify that?
French farmers received €7.38 billion in subsidies in 2003.
The average French farmer receives €16,693 per annum in subsidies – this is more than five times what the average person in the world receives in income.
Prince Albert of Monaco receives around €300,000 a year in subsidies for his farms. The Queen and Prince Charles also get subsidies for their farms.
Rémy Pointereau, a French senator, received €121,000 last year, and Luc Guyau, an ally of President Chirac, received €50,000 in subsidies.
Cees Veerman, the Dutch Agriculture Minister, received €168,000 for farms in France and €22,000 for farms in the Netherlands.
In Denmark, four Cabinet ministers received money from EU farming subsidies in 2004, as did the husband of Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU Farm Commissioner.
70,000 French farmers receive no subsidies from the CAP.
One word for all of them - parasites!
This exposes the utter bullshit of the arguments of poor French farmers that will get kicked off their farms unable to fend for themselves, since 70,000 fend for themselves now (admittedly in a protected market). It also exposes the level of political disinterest there is in some European quarters to end this outrageous waste of money.
3 steps for the EU:
1. Abolish agricultural subsidies;
2. Abolish restrictions on agricultural imports;
3. Abolish tariffs on agricultural imports.