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Reforming Europe’s farms

The recent disasters to hit the British and European farming industry have increased the pressure for radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. France and Germany are ready for change. But don't expect anything soon

It used to be that discussion of European farm policy was confined to Brussels bureaucrats, with the occasional eruption of protests by farmers threatened by freer international trade. But try mentioning farm subsidies at a dinner party these days. The ensuing conversation-well informed or otherwise-will range from mad-cow disease to foot and mouth to organic farming. And while there may be some disagreements, one thing is certain: the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be seen as the main culprit for the problems of British and European agriculture.

The story isn’t that different elsewhere in Europe. Even in France, where there…

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