Europe's expensive and monopolistic sugar market regime will not be reformed, despite protests by food processors and consumers. The Committee of Industrial Users of Sugar (CIUS) has criticised the European Commission for propping up the sugar regime. CIUS believes the EU proposal for a phased reduction in quotas for the next two quota years will leave European sugar users at a disadvantage and less competitive. CIUS secretary general Alain Beaumont said: "Further delay in reform will hamper competitiveness. This will keep prices artificially high and stifle growth in EU employment." There will, however, be an interim cut in production quotas to meet World Trade Organisation subsidised export limits. An unpublished European Court of Auditors report has already indicated that EU consumers are losing out to the tune of up to 6.5bn euros a year because of the way EU support for the sugar industry distorts the market. The commission is planning to halve the surplus with a proposed quota cut of 115,000 tonnes, to be applied to national A and B production quotas on the basis of the 1995 formula. The storage subsidy is also to be abolished, while refiners will no longer be required to maintain a minimum of 3% of production in stock, in case of shortages. These measures take effect from 2001. Special arrangements for ACP countries and India remain. {{PROVISIONS }}