Dear Sir, I wonder when was the last time a humble cucumber warranted so much mileage in the media? Sadly, it would appear to be the tragic deaths of northern Europeans from E-Coli to do this.

It would also appear that the righteous indignation of the Spanish, and particularly the farmers who grow this excellent vegetable, has proven to be correct. The Germans have rushed to judgement without proper scientific facts to back them, and pointed an accusing finger , which in today's instant international news distribution, has quickly resulted in millions of euros of damage to an already hard pressed rural Spanish economy.

No doubt there will be a rush of diplomatic back pedalling, since it cannot be in German financial interests to see the southern Mediterranean economies further stretched.

So where does this leave Spanish farmers? Will the correct compensation be paid to them? if so, how, from whom, and when?
If they are to wait for a cheque from the German government to the Spanish government, sometime beyond next Christmas may be a realistic guess. And how long before Madrid pay the money to the farmers? And will these farmers still be around to receive it?

Now you may say that there is no such thing as a poor Spanish farmer ( particularly when you look at the sheds where the product is grown), but that's hardly the point. There is no company who can guarantee a loan from a bank to tide them over and invest for the next crop. The Spanish government isn't flush with cash either.

Therefore may I suggest to all your readers and chiefly those like me who love cucumbers, go out this weekend, buy two ( they are as cheap as chips), help to clear the stocks and support the local farming community when they need it.

Yours faithfully, Paul Satterly
Sa Coma