EU: €443m set aside for vineyard conversion
The European Commission has set aside €443m for the restructuring and conversion of vineyards in the 2003/04 marketing year. As usual, the cash will be shared out among member states according to their share of the total EU area under vines. Spain will get about 36% of the total, followed by Italy (29%) and France (22%). The subsidies are part of the EU's drive to promote up-market wines and are usually only given where the vineyard is converting from cheaper varieties. The proposed budget is identical to that for 2002/03 and similar to the sums allocated in the two years before that.
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