EU tobacco directive opposition mounts

| May 28, 2013

Bulgaria has formally backed Greece in its opposition to some of the revisions proposed by the EU Commission at the end of last year to the Tobacco Products Directive, according to a Bulgarian News Agency story quoting a press note issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Both countries produce leaf tobacco – mainly oriental tobacco, which is a small but key element in many American-blend cigarettes.

Bulgaria and Greece are concerned largely with the proposed revisions that would tend to standardize tobacco products and their packaging.

The Commission has proposed packaging regulations that, while not quite along the lines of Australia’s ‘plain packaging’ are certainly tending in that direction. It has called for the prohibition of flavourings and the banning of certain categories of products, including slim cigarettes.

The Agency story said that these measures would have a ‘disastrous impact on employment in tobacco production’.

In Bulgaria, more than 200,000 people worked in the tobacco production sector, more than in any other EU member state, the press note said.

A declaration by Greece, supported by Bulgaria, Spain, Poland, the CzechRepublic, Hungary, Cyprus, Italy, Romania and Croatia, argued that the proposed new rules put forward by the Commission would seriously affect the livelihood of more than 500,000 EU citizens employed in tobacco growing and processing.

Category: Breaking News

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