EU: Parliament urges caution on wine reform
The European Parliament's agriculture committee is resisting European Commission attempts to overhaul the EU's wine market system, notably calling for the retention of compulsory distillation to ease over-production.
In a report on the reform debate, MEPs argued for EU member states to have tough powers to resist calls from Brussels for grubbing-up of vineyards.
MEPs called for aid to be given to winemakers to divert production into industrial alcohol and other by products. The report stressed: "The issue of permanent abandonment of wine-growing must not be the centrepiece of [wine market] reform."
It added that aid for grubbing-up should be limited by formulae that stressed the value of vineyards in mountain, coastal and island regions, in fighting soil erosion and maintaining cultural traditions.
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