The European Commission has increased its grants for the restructuring and conversion of vineyards in the EU in the 2002-3 marketing year by 5% from 2001-2 to €443m (£270m). The allocation will be topped up by some €42m (£26m) which was unspent in 2001-2 because not all countries could justify claims.

Some 30% of the total grants, about €157m (£96m), will go to Spain. Next biggest is Italy with €124m (£76m) followed by France with €95m (£58m).

The cash is initially available to member states according to their share of the total land area devoted to wine growing but the sums can be adjusted in the light of special needs. Some 86% of the top-up money will be made available to Spain.