THE EUROPEAN Commission has allowed Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to pay special income aid worth a total of some Euro 418 million, (about Pounds 250 million), to beef producers suffering losses between November 2000 and June 2001 because of the BSE crisis.

Brussels also sanctioned other BSE-related state aids to help in restocking herds in Germany and Italy, amounting to around Euro 92 million, (Pounds 55 million). Normally national governments are barred from paying income aid as this could distort competition but ...

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