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"Excuse me, Herr Kapitan -- where's the meat counter?" "Beached," may be his reply following a recent court decision in that could close European "butterships," which steam from Kiel, Hamburg, and Dutch ports. Once outside the 12-mile limit, they open their checkout counters, selling 8,600 tons of surplus EC butter, cheese, and beef annually at cut rate prices. The EC loses $7.2 million a year in tax revenue from these operations.

Now, the European court of Justice has ruled that West German shops can sue these floating groceries for loss of trade.m

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