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C 76/114 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 11. 3.

98

It is the responsibility of the Commission to ensure that all its international obligations related to nuclear safety
and safeguards are properly implemented, including those relative to transport of radioactive material.

(98/C 76/220) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2469/97


by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Commission
(16 July 1997)

Subject: Misuse of a PHARE programme subsidy by Slovakia

Has the Commission considered how it can prevent PHARE programme subsidies from being misused in the
future for the publication of xenophobic views, as has happened in Slovakia with the publication of a history
book for primary schools?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(5 September 1997)

Under the Phare ‘Renewal of education programme’ for the Slovak Republic, funding was provided for the
printing of a history schoolbook. When the Commission approved the funding of the book (ECU 80,000),
described as a chronological description of historical events to be used as a supplementary teaching aid, it relied
on three written recommendations by historians teaching in Canada, Germany and the Slovak Republic, all of
Slovak origin. When the Commission was made aware that the book contained offensive material of an
anti-semitic nature, which also appeared to justify the actions of the Tiso regime, it took immediate action and
obtained the withdrawal of the book.

The Commission does not intend to fund education programmes such as the ‘Renewal of education programme’
in the future in Slovakia. Similar programmes in other Central and Eastern European countries expired in 1996.

(98/C 76/221) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2472/97


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(16 July 1997)

Subject: Subsidies for the German nuclear industry

In Germany, nuclear-plant operators are legally required to build up reserves for the disposal of fuel elements and
decommissioning.These reserves are raised from electricity charges. They are contingency reserves, and under
subparagraph 1 of Article 249(1) of the German Commercial Code, must be shown on the commercial balance
sheet. The requirement to transfer to the tax balance sheet the reserves shown on the commercial balance sheet
derives from Article 5(1) of Germany’s Income Tax Law. According to the Association of German Electricity
Works (VDEW), these reserves totalled approximately DM 54 billion at the end of 1996. The nuclear operators
are increasingly using such reserves, which have been accumulated well in excess of the levels required by their
own criteria, as a means of financing their own undertakings tax-free and buying up other undertakings.

1. Does the Commission agree that the tacit immunity from taxation of the exorbitant reserves accruing from
consumer payments is currently tantamount to a subsidy?

2. What action does the Commission intend to take against the subsidy?

3. Does the Commission consider that proposals for placing the disposal and decommissioning reserves in a
public fund are more conducive to competition?