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Ministers set out national positions on EU wine reform

Published:  23 July, 2008

Europe's agriculture ministers have laid down national interest red lines' on EU wine industry reform in a meeting held yesterday.

Representatives from the 27 EU member states met ahead of crunch talks due to take place next month.

An EU spokesman said the discussions involved ministers meeting individually with the Portuguese EU presidency to state their positions on far reaching plans to change subsidies, grub up unprofitable vineyards and ban sugar from wine fermentation, a move strongly opposed by countries like Germany.

He added that the latest meetings had not been used to finalise policy and expected this would take place when ministers next met on December 18-19th.

However, the EU has expressed fears that Europe's wine producers are under threat from New and emerging world wine producers.