THE EUROPEAN Commission has published new proposals for tobacco growing subsidies for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 harvests; they underline Brussels' policies to phase out the cultivation of unpopular leaf varieties and also to channel money into helping growers abandon the industry.

Its new premiums and guarantee thresholds also for the first time earmark money from its Community Tobacco Fund for "specific initiatives to encourage growers to switch from tobacco into other crops," replacing the old spending heading of "agronomic research;" ...

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