Thursday, September 08, 2005

Flooded farmers call for EU aid

Farmers are asking the EU for financial support following damage to crops from flooding. But hey, this is not the US of A. Here we are talking about German farmers, and they didn’t even have a hurricane to deal with, much less broken levees.

The main affected area is in the southern German state of Bavaria, where recent flooding is estimated to have caused €100 million of damage, the Danube having risen by 18 feet in some areas – although still three feet lower than in the devastating floods of 2002.

As well as direct aid, farmers are also calling upon Brussels to relax conditions relating to the purchasing of grain by the EU to stabilise prices, and are also requesting permission to use cereal crops as fuel.

Interestingly, while UK donations to the US to help them out with their minor local difficulties are entirely voluntary, here we do not have a choice. Any aid payments to German farmers will come out of the general EU budget, to which the UK pays so handsomely. Our forced generosity, therefore, will far exceed any aid given to the survivors of huricane Katrina.

And the German flooding isn't even president Bush's fault - unless you blame it on him for not signing up to Kyoto.

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