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A BBC - interview

Romanian Agriculture Minister: Romania needs to regain its credibility within the EU

de Dan Tapalaga, transl. A. Comanciu
Luni, 7 ianuarie 2008, 8:38 English | Top News

Dacian Ciolos
Foto: Rompres
Romanian Agriculture Minister, Dacian Ciolos talks in an interview for - BBC about the problems his Ministry faces in dealing with the European Union on many issues. He argues that Romania needs to regain its credibility and comply to EU standards.

But he also says that at Romania's request recently, the EU has agreed not to push measures in the near future preventing Romanians to sacrifice pigs and lambs on Christmas Eve and Easter respectively. The move comes as Romanian authorities have yet to find solutions to have this centuries-old tradition halted.

Ciolos explains that the required subsidies for Romanian peasants will be distributed starting with February as the authorities need to make sure they comply with the necessary standards.

He argues that EU funds, which amount to some 440 million euro for subsidising or supporting the sector will not be lost. However, he admits that it is possible that the government will be forced to return the money if the European Commission decides to.

Even if the safeguarding clause for agriculture was avoided, problems still exist. Many farmers declared they own more hectares than they actually do, to get more money.

What is more, the electronic system that stirred up EU critics is still not working fully properly, Ciolos admits.

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