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Avoiding awkward questions, Brussels style.

My old friends at the Europa press room have cooked up a Q&A on tobacco.

And rather entertaining it is too. It asks:

What is the "philosophy" behind tobacco control in the EU?

Smoking prevention and tobacco control are a priority for Member States and the European Community. Progress in reducing smoking is still disappointing. The last Eurobarometer on Tobacco reveals that about a third of Europeans are daily smokers.

Elsewhere, it has clearly been out collecting vox pops, as other questions include 'What will be the follow-up to the Green Paper?, and 'In July 2005, the Commission published its first report on the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive. What have been the developments since then?'

However, it fails to ask 'How much do EU subsidies for tobacco cultivation cost?' A bit of rooting around delivered the figure of €920 million. Population of the EU is currently estimated to be 494,070,000, but excluding new members Romania and Bulgaria, gives a rounded 464 m, so it costs every euro man, woman and child a scratch under €2 per head. I wonder why they did not think that was worth noting?

Meanwhile, pictorial health warnings are on the way, and presumably because no one in either Switzerland or the Land of the Long White Cloud has ever suffered any visible ill effects from smoking, "The Commission has also concluded copyright agreements with New Zealand and Switzerland, allowing them to use the EU’s images in their own tobacco campaigns". I'm sure our Swiss and Kiwi friends will enjoy looking at the blackened lungs etc of some deceased euro example.

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Anonymous flashgordonnz said... 12:46 am

We'll freeload on your images. We Kiwis are cheap: its our Scottish ancestry. Plus the fact that unnecessary EU farming subsidies impoverish us...

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:15 am

Good luck with that. Although that seems a fairly small compensation for the wrong done to you in '73.  

Anonymous flashgordonnz said... 8:34 pm

Cheers, mate. You know we don't blame you personally, and we are mainly over it!
Did you know that we are blessed with a "New" Labour government, similar to yours? Slightly less sleezy, slightly more to the left, prefers to negotiate a free trade agreement with China over supporting the war in Iraq (the Australians tried that, and the "free trade" agreement they got from Uncle Sam in return is kinda cheap) but essentially the same big government sucking up resources and crowding out the private sector, "low" cpi supported by manufacturing escaping offshore and an ever increasing exchange rate. All of which masks high inflation in the non-tradeables sector.
I'm depressed...  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 12:17 pm

Mr HG grows tobacco; no-one would want to smoke it, it makes those black cheroots that are cut in half before smoking them from the thin end. Everyone I know who smokes tobacco wants normal ciggies.

The EU is cutting back the subsidy fiercely. But while it's there....  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 12:19 pm

That comment is in an ashamed whisper.  

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