AVA-ASAJA warns: “passivity EU against French attacks encourages disenchantment with Europe”

New Holland Eng

The Valencian Farmers Association (AVA-ASAJA) has strongly criticized the latest attacks of Gauls farmers against Spanish wine and has demanded strong sanctions from the European Union. In that sense, its president, Cristobal Aguado, has warned that inaction in Brussels to these repeated assaults of French producers encourages the feeling of disenchantment with the common European project. Behind this conflict, which is being extended in time, there are accusations of unfair competition and marketing of Spanish bulk wine as French by Gauls winegrowers.

Before the start of the wine year, French farmers resume their hostilities against the Spanish productions (a conflict still unresolved and that has been going up quite a few years back in time) and justify their attacks in protest at the entrance to their country of wine at lower prices, as reported, also sold in bulk by passing as French wine. Specifically, rates of Spanish liter unbottled have fallen from 0,55 euros in 2013 to 0,32 in 2015, and while the Spanish hectolitre in that format is now sold at 30 to 40 euros, the Gallic wines is between 70 and 80, something many vintners branded as “unfair competition”.

So, grouped in the so-called Regional Action Committee Vitícola, a dozen masked men with axes attacked last week a French company specializing in the import of Spanish wine and, after forcing the doors of deposits, spilled 50,000 liters of broth from various national wineries. The sabotage caused a flood of wine in the city of Sète, near Marseille, which flooded several houses and required the intervention of firefighters.

This is the third attack so far this year as in February destroyed 18,000 kilos of citrus and vegetables from Murcia, and in April spilled wine on the road from five Spanish trucks with the complicity of the police. In addition, the authors of this latest altercation threaten to new shares.

Speaking to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Spanish Embassy in Paris, Alberto Lopez-Acenjo, one can not speak of “dumping” by the Spanish industry, “but a loss of competitiveness of the Gauls winegrowers “. A statement that contrasts with the position of the socialist senator and French vintner Henri Cabanel who, in a letter addressed to French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll, accuses Spain of unfair competition “because their production is not carried out with the same regulatory restrictions than in France “and demanded an urgent reaction by the French government.
Meanwhile, the president of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, has roundly condemned the “vandalism campaign against Spanish agriculture that, far from being an isolated case, repeated over time and exceeds all limits”.

“These acts threaten the stability, security and free movement of goods within the EU whose authorities we miss a forceful response,” laments Aguado

“As in many countries are emerging not as Eurosceptic movements, but directly anti-Europeans, turn a blind eye to these things is to give wings to this disenchantment. Mal fate awaits Europe if not even able to enforce its laws and its basic principles “says the president of AVA-ASAJA, who demands the immediate intervention of the European Commission to punish people concerned and implement a mechanism of compensation for wine companies that have been affected.

He also requests the political parties leaders to report the illegality of these acts of vandalism before the Community institutions and to fulfill its duty to defend the Spanish agricultural sector.

Price plummeting Spanish wine

The aggravation of this problem, has contributed to the fact that between 2000 and 2015, French imports of Spanish wine have grown dramatically, from 20 to 72%. An increase largely driven by the plummeting prices of Spanish wine, in the case of bulk sale getting cheaper. So that 72%, 65% corresponds to bulk wine and 7% to bottling. In that sense, the president of the Union of Wine Growers Aude region, Frédéric Rouanet, said the intention of his organization to meet with Spanish industry representatives to see how they can increase their prices.

Rouanet has reported that, in addition to selling Spanish wine as French, provided that the geographical origin or type of grape in bulk format only come on the delivery note purchase, the practice of using fraudulent labels are also given in bottles.

The Gauls vintners also demand that the Spanish authorities require greater control over their cellars because they suspect that some of the wines that sell to France did not actually come from Spain.

To Rounet, Brussels is at the epicenter of the problem, due to the absence of Community legislation in the European wine sector to harmonize all matters relating to wages, labeling, fees, rules, or regulations in plant protection products

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