THE EUROPEAN Commission has expressed concern at the growing number of requests from EU wine-producing countries for permission to grant national distillation aid to growers. Franz Fischler, EU agriculture commissioner for wine, said it was "quite worrying" that member states were seeking to grant "pure operating aids which do not bring about any structural improvement."

Mr Fischler spoke after requests from France and Portugal for approval of state-aid schemes designed to bridge the gap between cash paid to producers for crisis ...

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