Hungary to turn to European Court if new maize intervention rules introduced

Analysis

The Hungarian government will turn to the European Court if Brussels does not scrap plans to introduce stricter quality requirements for intervention maize, which would exclude much of the maize grown by Hungarian farmers, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány wrote in a letter to European Commission president Manuel Barroso, government spokeswoman Emese Danks said on Wednesday.

Hungary considers the decision to require maize sold for intervention to meet strict weight and water content requirements disadvantageous, discriminatory and unacceptable, Gyurcsány wrote.
The EU body in charge of grain intervention purchases said after deciding on the new requirements at the end of September that they were intended to ensure that maize delivered for intervention store could be kept for the longest period possible. Gyurcsány wrote, however, that "some elements of the unacceptable proposal are in no way related to the original purpose of the changes, the long-term storage of maize."
He also said the timing of the amendment was unacceptable because it did not allow time for the affected farmers to prepare for changes, and that such changes in community market regulations were beyond the purview of the committee.

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