Pressed hard by outraged farmers, the European Union farm chief on Wednesday increased his offer of compensation for the E. coli outbreak to euro210 million ($306 million).
EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos had initially proposed euro150 million ($219 million) to the struggling farmers, who have tons of unwanted produce rotting in fields and warehouses as Europeans shun vegetables, fearing they are contaminated with a deadly strain of E. coli.
But under pressure from big producers like Spain, Italy and France, he was forced to offer more help. The 27-nation bloc is expected to make a final decision on Tuesday.
The package covers the period from when the farm crisis began late last month till the end of June, in the hopes that the scare will have abated by then.
The proposed aid still falls far short of the losses that European farmers have estimated — over euro400 million ($600 million) a week — and farmers are expected to demand even better terms.
For more, see: EU Offers Farmers $300 Million For E. Coli Crisis