By MICHEL PETIT, MICHELE DE BENEDICTIS, DENIS BRITTON, MARTIJN DE GROOT, WILHELM HENRICHSMEYER and FRANCESCO LECHI (Eds.)
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Additional resources for Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The Birth of Milk Quotas and Cap Reform
33 More generally, the numerous discussions which took place prior to the Athens summit led to the identification of several critical issues of agricultural policy: milk, MCAs, and excessive agricultural spending. These were obviously linked to the general budget issue and the contentious question of the British rebate. Thus progress had been made,in as much as critical issues and their interrelationships were identified; but alternative possible solutions were not clear and several countries were reported as believing that the Athens summit would not reach any concrete agreement but would signal the beginning of intense negotiations before the next summit meeting which was to be held in Brussels in March 1984.
In addition the fear of US retaliation was probably another motivation; and the French government did not want any outside authority to have the right to raise revenues within France. Italy and Greece would be likely to insist that olive oil be exempted. Given these positions, the fact that in order to be adopted such a tax would have be approved by all ten national governments legislatures substantially reduced the probability that the tax would be a part of the final package. - On October 5, at a meeting of the high level ad hoc working party, national positions on agricultural issues were further specified.
Since Stuttgart, they had been made part of a single package, and they could not now be agreed upon separately. The sense of a crisis was general. In the words of the usually cautious Bulletin of the European Communities: "Despite intense preparations during the six months between the Stuttgart and Athens European Councils, the 10 heads of State or Government, meeting in Athens on 4 December, broke up two days later without achieving any progress on any of the Community's vital problems. They failed to reconcile their differences over the reform of the common agricultural policy, thus stalemating any possibility of decision on revitalizing the Community and the accession of Spain and Portugal" (8) .
Agricultural Policy Formation in the European Community: The Birth of Milk Quotas and Cap Reform by MICHEL PETIT, MICHELE DE BENEDICTIS, DENIS BRITTON, MARTIJN DE GROOT, WILHELM HENRICHSMEYER and FRANCESCO LECHI (Eds.)