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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/89

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 1997)

The increase in per capita GDP in Portugal between 1983 and 1993 relative to the per capita GDP in the
Community, calculated in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), is due to two main factors:

The first is Portugal's good economic performance over that period. The increase in Portugal's per capita GDP is
greater than the Community average and Portugal's purchasing power has increased as a result of accession to the
single market, reducing the cost of imports by abolishing customs duties. On average, Portugal's per capita GDP
moves about one percentage point closer to the Community average each year.

There is a second factor alongside this economic aspect: the adjustment of the Community average between 1990
and 1991 as a result of the inclusion of the former German Democratic Republic (ex-GDR) in the statistics. The
per capita GDP was lower in the ex-GDR at that time than in any of the Member States, and this caused a
reduction in Germany's per capita GDP and a lower growth rate in the Community's. As a result, Portugal's per
capita GDP increased relative to the Community average by slightly less than two percentage points between
1990 and 1991, which is logical and arithmetically correct.

In contrast, the revisions applied to the methodology (inclusion of the Azores and Madeira in the Portuguese
national accounts and change in the method of calculating purchasing power parities) did not have a significant
impact on Portuguese per capita GDP.

(98/C 102/129) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2681/97

by Marı́a Sornosa Martı́nez (GUE/NGL)
and Angela Sierra González (GUE/NGL) to the Council
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Early retirement of a high official

1. Is it true that some months ago, the Council of Ministers forced a high-ranking official working in its
Secretariat’s language services to take early retirement on a substantial pension, because it had been
discovered that in parallel to his job as an official, he owned a translation agency which was having some of
its work done by translators from the Council’s own language divisions?
2. If so, have enquiries been made to find out whether there were individuals who were covering up this illegal
3. Have precautions been taken to ensure that the aforesaid former official does not continue to make use of
translators who have any kind of working relationship with any of the Community institutions?

(17 November 1997)

1. The Director of DGA III who was responsible among other things for the Translation Service in the General
Secretariat of the Council was given early retirement at his own request on 30 April 1997 in accordance with the
second indent of Article 52 of the Staff Regulations applicable to officials and other servants of the European

The monies paid to him when he took early retirement were due to him under the provisions of the Staff
Regulations and the rules governing the settlement of holiday rights not taken before retirement.

2. and 3. The allegations referred to in the Honourable Members’ question were the subject of an investigation
which revealed a situation which is not quite the one referred to in the question but from which the Appointing
Authority has drawn all the necessary conclusions in order to ensure that the provisions of the Staff Regulations
on the rights and obligations of officials are scrupulously complied with and that the General Secretariat of the
Council functions propertly.