• France's news in English

France told to repay €1 billion in EU farm aid

AFP · 27 Jan 2015, 15:22

Published: 27 Jan 2015 15:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The money, about 2 percent of the 40 billion that France has received from Brussels between 2008 and 2012 under the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, must be repaid in three instalments up to 2017, a European source said.

France was penalized for failing to check farmers' claims for subsidies, especially on environmental issues and calculating the area of arable land.

Fifteen European Union nations were hit by demands to repay farm aid but France was by far the worst hit, according to figures in the EU's official journal.

Paris did however manage to reduce the sum from the €1.8 billion initially demanded by Brussels, officials said.

The demand comes just months after British Prime Minister David Cameron was enraged by a €2.1 billion bill from Brussels that was based on a recalculation of EU nations' budgets dating back a decade.

Britain later said it had halved the bill and managed to extend the deadline for payment from December 1st, 2014, until September 2015.

Story continues below…

The Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for 38 percent of the Brussels budget, has been a subject of debate almost as long as the bloc has existed.

Spending on farming has traditionally divided EU states, with France, Spain, Germany and Italy the major beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available