Norway’s neighbours are censuring the Scandinavian county’s move to raise import duties on certain agricultural products for being anti-European.
Danish Trade and Investment Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr alleges the intended measure sends a negative signal to a Europe currently facing a difficult financial crisis.
“Norway may have the legal right to the changes, but that is not the same as a morally right, or that do this is expedient. I find this to be a protectionist measure that goes against all attempts to come out of the Eurozone crisis,” she told farming newspaper Nationen.
Magnus Kindbom, Deputy Minister at Sweden’s Ministry for Rural Affairs declared, “Under the EEA Agreement, Norway has undertaken to move towards liberalizing trade in agricultural products. The goal is ultimately for no customs duties, meaning we are obligated to move in that direction. Norway is going to the opposite one.”
EU officials have warned Norway against its decision. The EU’s Agriculture and Rural Development Commission is considering whether to pursue any action on this issue.
“We will examine the case and collect information from various authorities in order to consider whether any measures should be implemented,” said Roger Waite, press spokesperson for EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloș.
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