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Agriculture and Fisheries Council: extracts from the (final) press conference by Petr Gandalovič, Czech Minister for Agriculture and President in office of the Council
During the Agriculture Council, five countries asked for a delay on the annual rises in EU milk production quotas agreed last November under the "Health Check", but the EC was clear on rejecting this demand. Petr Gandalovič, Czech Minister for Agriculture and President in office of the Council of the EU, explained, on behalf of the Commission and most Member States, that there is no willingness to reopen the issues settled in the health check and he added that it would be better to use standard market mechanisms. On the impact of the economic crisis on farmers, he said that agriculture is in a better position due to the safety nets of direct payments of the CAP, but he added that the impact of the crisis on this sector is really serious specially in terms of limiting the financing of the banks. In relation to GMO crops, the Minister said that a significant group of Member States supports the principle of a Member State having the right to decide to limit, or ban, the cultivation of GMO crops without having to give any reasons. SHOTLIST