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Europe to buy new butter mountain

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Brussels will spend €69m buying the butter to prop up European farmers

Brussels will spend €69m buying the butter to prop up European farmers

Brussels will spend €69m buying the butter to prop up European farmers

ALONG with yellow buses, skinheads and Bosco, the EC butter mountain was something we thought had been left behind in the 1980s.

Now Europe is buying 30,000 tonnes of unsalted butter, which it is going to lob into cold storage. Brussels will spend €69m buying the butter to prop up European farmers in response to a catastrophic drop in price. This has been brought about through a 33 per cent slump in demand caused by the global slowdown. The crash in the value of the rouble has also had a major impact, as Russia is one of the biggest export markets for European butter.

The bureaucrats in Brussels will also spend over €185m to create a milk dune by buying up 109,000 tonnes of milk powder.

The purchases -- equivalent in weight to 75 jumbo jets -- will be made between March and August this year.

Figures from Europe show that it still maintains a ridiculously large 717,810 tonnes of cereal and grain, 41,442 tonnes of sugar and 2.3 million hecto- litres of ghastly cheap wine.

The butter mountain peaked in 1986 when 1.2 million tonnes were kept in Europe's freezer. The vast stockpile was whittled away before finally vanishing entirely in 2007, in a move that was seen as a major event in the reform of the €50bn Common Agricultural Policy.