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Le Temps - Switzerland | Friday, June 23, 2006

Reforming Europe's wine sector

Journalist Jean-Claude Peclet does not think the Brussels reform goes far enough. "This is where it falls short of the mark. Notably in a certain lack of ambition and vision for the European wine industry. The EU currently spends 14 million euros a year on advertising, not even three percent of what it burns on subsidies. This is laughable. Can it be that Europe is ashamed of its wines? There may be a bit of fundamental truth in this. Drinking a glass of red wine is no longer politically correct. The same governments that drive themselves into hock over subsidies are stepping up their indiscriminate campaigns against alcohol, with France taking the cake in this area. ... Australians and South Africans are also being hit with the effects of global market flooding, but they are better organised in marketing themselves. As are the Spanish as well. The French, meanwhile, are among those who are most set in their ways in the entire sector. Viticulture will inevitably have to overhaul its model and marshall its forces."

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