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EU announces detailed distribution of agricultural aid plan

BRUSSELS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced detailed distribution of its fresh 500-million-euro aid package which aims to support struggling farmers who are suffering from the low prices of milk and pork.

The announcement came out of a new round of meeting among the continent's 28 agricultural ministers in Luxembourg, which was a follow-up to their emergence meeting in Brussels on Sept. 7, when thousands of farmers snarled traffic and created chaos in a massive protest.

EU's executive arm the European Commission then decided to present a comprehensive package worth 500 million euros (563 million U.S. dollars) to prop up the bloc's worsened milk and pork market, but ministers have argued that more details of the package need to be clarified.

The bulk of the package, 420 million euros, will be handed over to EU's 28 member states, according to today's press release.

The bloc's powerhouse Germany is expected to receive the most amount of money with 69.2 million euros, followed by France with 62.9 million euros and the United Kingdom, 36.1 million euros, according to the press release.

Poland and the Baltic countries, which suffered most due to the lower-than-average milk price, will also gain a relatively big share of the aid.

As the plummeting milk and meat prices have affected all EU producers, 80 percent of the total amount is allocated on the basis of member states' milk quotas in the last quota year, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan explained.

The remaining 20 percent is allocated on the basis of criteria that ensures additional assistance for farmers in those countries which have been particularly hit by plunging pork price and "very low milk price," the impact of the Russian ban and this summer's drought, Hogan said.

To stabilize the market, the bloc also has proposed a new private storage scheme for skimmed milk powder and cheese.

Besides, EU said it will buy some 30 million euros of milk products from European farmers and deliver them to refugees.

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