Outright opponents of the European Commission's sugar reform plans have now shrunk to five countries, not enough to block the proposal. The five outright opponents are all marginal sugar producers: Finland, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain. Ten countries including the UK, France and Germany are broadly happy with the proposals.
In between is a range of countries such as Austria and Cyprus who said that the thrust of the proposals was right, though the price cuts went too far, while the compensation was inadequate. Others, such as Poland and Italy, are more reluctant in their support.
If Italy and Poland joined the no camp, a blocking minority would exist. However, a source close to the Commission commented, 'they may be bought off with bounties.' Side payments to win support are certainly a well established CAP tradition.