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C 102/88 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4.

98

The Commission would however remind the Honourable Member that, when its Members address another
Community institution, their only obligation is to use one of the official languages of the Community.

(98/C 102/127) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2673/97


by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Council
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Free trade in burglars’ tools

On Saturday, 12 July 1997, the Dutch daily newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ ran an article on the firm of Adalbert
Wendt in Bergheim (Germany), which is selling anyone interested the latest equipment needed for burglaries and
robberies. The article referred, for example, to instruction videos on breaking into cars and safe-cracking, for
which the necessary equipment was also on offer. The equipment includes the most advanced technical devices
that can currently be supplied to the underworld − thermal lances, electronic safe-cracking equipment,
Auto-Killer cases, etc., etc. and also instruction books and videos.

Is the Council aware of this and, given this shocking information, is its President considering proposing in the
near future ways of controlling and monitoring this trade within the European Union?

Answer
(7 November 1997)

The Council has no knowledge of the information quoted by the Honourable Member. In any event, the Council
does not comment on articles in the press.

(98/C 102/128) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2675/97


by Joaquim Miranda (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Data relating to Portugal in the Commission’s ‘First Report on Economic and Social Cohesion − 1996’

In a recent report of the Portuguese Economic and Social Council on ‘Implementation of the Community Support
Framework − 1995’, Prof. Dr José da Silva Lopes, author of the report, expresses doubts regarding certain
figures quoted in the Commission’s ‘First Report on Economic and Social Cohesion − 1996’, in particular the
13% increase in Portugal’s per capita GDP relative to the European average between 1983 and 1993 and
especially the 8.6% increase in the period 1990-1993.

More specifically, the report states the following: ‘The abnormal per capita GDP percentage increase relative to
the EU average is most probably due to the changes introduced by Eurostat in 1990 in methods for calculating
PPP (purchasing power parity).’

In view of the importance of this matter, which is not merely statistical, will the Commission clear the doubts
raised in the report of the Portuguese Economic and Social Council and, in particular, provide figures concerning
the actual trend in Portuguese per capita GDP in the aforementioned periods, should it be confirmed that the
published figures are the result of changes in calculation methods?