Sharing the losses

Published: Sunday 15 August 1999

a union of Belgian farmers has expressed happiness at the "purple-green" coalition decision to assist farmers who had suffered as a result of their food being contaminated by the cancer-causing dioxin. The economic loss due to the scare is estimated to be around us $1.52 billion. This has also been Europe's worst health scare since the mad cow disease.

Another statement released by the new government comprising Belgium's Liberal, Socialist and Green parties said that it would ask the European Union ( eu ) to declare the dioxin crisis "a catastrophe with economic consequences", which would allow Belgium to qualify for eu aid. The Belgium government plans to ask the European Commission, the executive body of the eu , for an approval to allocate a five-year, interest- free loan to farmers.

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