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Brussels, 20 October 2011
Statement by Commissioner Cioloş on the Aid for the Needy scheme following the Council of Ministers of Agriculture on 20 October 2011
"I am once again appalled that the Council has not been able today to lift the blockade on our programme for food aid for the poor in 2012 and 2013. In recent days and weeks, the European Commission has taken its responsibilities and shown enormous flexibility in order to make an agreement possible. We have reached the stage where all the technical or legal arguments put forward by certain member states to oppose the scheme are obsolete. I want to make clear to the beneficiaries of this food programme and to the food banks that the European Commission remains committed to maintaining this program. There is still time to act. There is still time for those Member States who are blocking the decision to reconsider their position. "