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C 304/124 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.


The launch of the 8th EDF requires ratification by at least two thirds of the ACP states (i.e. 47 countries) and all
the Community Member States of the agreement signed in Mauritius on 4 November 1995 to review and
supplement the fourth Lomé Convention half way through its lifetime.

From the information in the Commission’s possession on 1 March, 56 ACP countries and 13 Member States had
ratified the agreement.

The Commission does recognise that purely domestic factors are to blame for the delays in some Member States,
but has nevertheless attempted to point out at every stage of their constitutional ratification procedures what the
consequences of such delays will be. Although it cannot at this point say exactly when ratification will be
completed, it has every expectation that its approaches to the Member States, which are in some cases already
paying off, will shortly help to ease the log-jam referred to by the Honourable Member.

(98/C 304/186) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0519/98

by Ilona Graenitz (PSE) to the Commission
(2 March 1998)

Subject: Duty-free shops

The turnover of European duty-free shops amounts to about ATS 60 bn p.a. Intra-Community traffic accounts for
more than two thirds of turnover. When the exemption from excise duty ceases, it is feared that, despite the long
transitional periods, 300 to 500 jobs in Austria alone will be at risk.

Does the Commission have a study of the impact of the abolition of duty-free sales on the labour market?

If not, does the Commission intend to have a study of this kind carried out?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(6 April 1998)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written question P-272/98 by Mrs Danielle
Darras (1).

(1) See page 67.

(98/C 304/187) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0520/98

by Thomas Megahy (PSE) to the Commission
(2 March 1998)

Subject: Financial support for growers of addictive drugs

Given the Commission’s decision to continue to support tobacco production to the tune of a billion ecus a year,
can cultivators of relatively harmless substances such as heroine (which takes a tiny fraction of the lives lost
every year to tobacco) expect similar subventions? Alternatively, has the Commission considered spending our
money on something more beneficial?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(30 March 1998)