Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Europe decisions - unbelivable

  1. Dec 4, 2007 #1


    User Avatar


    i Just heard, that because of a decison made by Europe, france has to reduce its sugar production (from 'betrave').

    Motif : so that those who produce more let more way to those who produce less (are poor)

    What a stupid idea !

    and undemocratic since now France has to force all the private companies to reduce their production
    what is this country where you cannot produce in the quantities you want ??
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2007 #2
    Mate, could you possibly be a little more descriptive? Are you are refering to the subsidies the EU gives France to produce sugar, if so do you think this is a good thing? What is undemocratic about the state easing the amount of bolstering an industry gets to stem globalisation?

    Anyway France is in the EU it also have a veto, so "Europe" forcing france to do something is much the muchness as "france" forcing itself to do something.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  4. Dec 5, 2007 #3


    User Avatar

    Subsidies, i am totally against this. for me, The best way to help a company is to leave them alone, and stop imposing on them huge amounts of taxes

    And, i wasnt referring to this, but to something i saw in the TV News (I live in France) saying that France had to cut down its sugar production so that the poorer countries can keep up
    I didnt say this was done against the french government's opinion, but i find it undemocratic for a government to force companies to take certain actions.

    For me, companies should be independent from the state.

    But in this case i understand : if the government gives help to a company, the company has to obey to the state.
  5. Dec 5, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It would help the discssion if you threw in links to news sources reporting this, so the rest of us can get a better picture of what the issue is.

    And here's a question: Would any French sugar producer be able to stay profitable in the absence of import tariffs?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2007
  6. Dec 5, 2007 #5
    Gokul, with the absence of import tariffs, yes a company can still make money, because it could still be handed money by the government in the form of subsidies (which is the case here). Its a well known fact in Europe that French producers of foodstuff, are given a lot of tax payers money, due to old Treaties we all signed in the infancy of the EU.

    JPC, Business and Politics are tied together (Fact)... Government policies generally have a profound impacts on the Economy, which is in turn always impact how business operates. Interest rates are an example in many countries, there are many many more examples. Although I tend to agree let the market decide the fate of a business/business model, there are many cases where this isnt feasible, practical or good for the ecconomy as a whole. If we didnt put import tariffs on Shoes for example, then Europe wouldnt have a shoe industry anymore, because of China. The problem with ideals (market forces are blessed) is that for them to work, everyone has to subscribe.. and typically its not the case.
  7. Dec 5, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  8. Dec 5, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  9. Dec 5, 2007 #8


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  10. Dec 6, 2007 #9
    There's something called the edit button, you know.. it also would help if you added some substance to your posts, too.
  11. Dec 6, 2007 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The European agricultural policy is an old one, and should change, but France (and especially France's former president Chirac with agricultural ties) opposed strongly any change.

    The policy is not that stupid, however. The idea is that
    agriculture in the EU is not competitive with agriculture in the rest of the world, and if we let market forces decide, then agriculture would be strongly reduced, and we'd be importing a lot from third world countries. That would both be beneficial to us (lower prices) and to them (market), but we cannot accept that for 2 good reasons. First of all, agriculture is considered a strategic item. You might want to depend upon other countries for your favorite video games, but not for food. So we want to keep an active agricultural activity within the EU. Next, there's a part of "culture" and also of "security" to it, to oversee and regulate the production rules. So the EU is ready to loose some economical efficiency (and to harm indirectly some third world countries) for the sake of securing its own agriculture.

    There's a simple way of doing that: taxes and subsidies. The EU taxes and regulates agricultural import, and gives subsidies to farmers. Now, it's even more severe: in order to keep artificially a high price (the EU doesn't want competition to play too much even within the EU), production needs to be kept down, so the EU distributes subsidies for NON-production. A farmer that DOESN'T produce on part of his land will as such contribute to a higher market price (and as such allow farmers in the EU to have a decent income) ; in order to compensate him for that, he gets a subsidy for non-used land. He gets, if you want, paid for non-production.
    This may sound bizarre, but it has been a long-standing tradition in several agricultural branches (such as wine and champagne, for instance, where each "chateau" has a maximum allowed production, in order to keep the prices high).

    The main benefitor is France, because of its large agricultural industry.

    Now, since the expansion of the EU, this system is becoming more and more expensive, inefficient and criticised, and it will one day be replaced by something hopefully better, but Chirac obtained that this wouldn't happen before 2013.

    That said, personally, I'm in favor of a system that costs money and efficiency, but guarantees agriculture within the EU. But probably one has to think of something better than the actual system.

    As to the accusation of falsifying competition - which is obviously the case and openly recognized: it is the main goal of the system ! - the EU is not the only one who does things like that. Agriculture (food supply) is simply considered too strategic an item to outsource. Even if that costs a lot of money and generates less wealth than could be obtained through fair trade.
  12. Dec 6, 2007 #11


    User Avatar

    ok, and do you have any idea of what this reform would be ?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Europe decisions - unbelivable
  1. Decisions decisions (Replies: 21)

  2. Europe's Fate (Replies: 7)

  3. Swimming to Europe? (Replies: 45)

  4. Romanticism in europe (Replies: 16)

  5. Guidance in a decision (Replies: 1)