Europe ready with cash help for farmers

Farmers in trouble because of the recession could be given up to £13,200 each to help them through.

The European Commission announced yesterday it had approved an application by Defra for emergency aid of as much as 15,000 euros a head for farmers – to be paid as grants and/or subsidised loans. But it was not clear last night if the money would actually be made available.

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EU rules normally allow up to 7,500 euros per farmer for special circumstances and while other countries have taken advantage of this dispensation in the past, but Defra has always been unenthusiastic.

Under the "temporary crisis" rules of the economic downturn caused by the banks, other EU members pushed their limit up to 15,000 euros and Defra thought it sensible to get permission for the same in case it became necessary.