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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:23, June 08, 2006
EU to finance crisis distillation of wine in France and Italy
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The European Union (EU) member states on Wednesday nodded proposals from the EU executive European Commission to open crisis distillation of wine in France and Italy.

For France a maximum of 1.5 million hectoliters of table wine and of 1.5 million hectoliters of quality wine can be offered for crisis distillation.

For Italy crisis distillation has been opened for a maximum quantity of 2.5 million hectoliters of table wine and 100,000 hectoliters of quality wine.

However, these figures were much less than what both countries wanted.

The EU budget will pay the price for the wine to be distilled and the total cost is around 131 million euros (about 170 million U.S. dollars), according to the Commission.

"While it (crisis distillation) offers temporary assistance to producers, it does not deal with the core of the problem - that Europe is producing too much wine for which there is no market," said Mariann Fischer Boel, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development.

"That is why a deep-rooted reform of the sector is needed urgently. I will be coming forward on 22 June with proposals to do just that," she added in a statement.

The raw alcohol resulting from this distillation can only be used for industrial purposes or as bio-fuel in order not to disturb the market for potable alcohol.

Considerable surpluses have been recorded on the wine markets in different EU member states resulting in a fall in prices and a worrying rise in stocks.

Source: Xinhua

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