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European body has withheld $86 million in sanctions

By Nasik Swami SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, July 26, 2011) - The European Union (EU) has been urged to immediately release sugar funds to Fiji to assist affected farmers and industry stakeholders in their adjustment and adaptation process.

This comes following the presentation by Fiji’s Prime Minister and Minister of Sugar Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama at the 12th ACP Ministerial Conference on Sugar currently underway in Maputo, Mozambique.

[PIR editor’s note: The European Union since the 2006 military coup has withheld funds totaling more than $86 million as a sanction against the military rule of commander Frank Bainimarama]

Commodore Bainimarama in his presentation said, like all other ACP suppliers, Fiji’s earnings from the sugar exports to the EU was barely sufficient to meet the on-going industry operating costs and making it extremely difficult to divert any resources for the ongoing restructuring and rehabilitation work.

The cooperation of the EU in this regard is essential not only to seriously and sustainably face the new conditions resulting from the reform but will ensure Fiji continues to reliably supply to traditional buyers in the EU on a sustainable basis.

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