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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/105

Will the Commission say whether it intends to intervene to ensure that, in addition to the walls which are
protected as part of the cultural heritage, local dwellings which constitute the natural environment of the walls in
the historical fabric of the upper city of Thessaloniki are also protected?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission

(14 October 1997)

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that under Article 128 of the EC Treaty the
protection of the national cultural heritage is exclusively the responsibility of the national authorities. The role of
the Community and of the Commission in particular is to encourage cooperation between the Member States in
favour of the preservation and enhancement of the European cultural heritage.

In this context, the Commission can not, therefore, intervene for the protection of the dwellings bordering the
medieval walls of the city of Thessaloniki.

However, the Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that the works in question were not
proposed by the Greek authorities for cofinancing within the framework for Community support 1994-1999. As
for the dwellings, they are not listed as protected historic monuments according to information received from the
Greek authorities.

(98/C 102/151) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2732/97

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Accidents and road safety in Greece

According to Eurostat data (Weekly Europe No 1011), Greece has the highest road accident mortality rate in the
European Union − 47.5% higher than the EU average. According to Commission information, the direct cost of
road accidents in the Union is estimated at ECU 15 billion annually, the economic loss amounts to a further
ECU 30 billion, the ‘cost’ in terms grief and suffering is another ECU 100 million, etc.

Will the Commission say:

(a) whether it has similar cost assessments for Greece;
(b) whether it has information for assessing the main causes of fatal accidents in Greece; and
(c) what steps (direct or indirect) the EU can take to help address this problem?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(6 October 1997)

In 1994, 2 050 people were killed and 29 722 injured in road accidents in Greece. This is equivalent to some
987 killed per million passenger cars registered. The corresponding figure for the Community is 298 fatalities per
million passenger cars registered. The Commission does not have precise estimates of the costs of road accidents
in Greece. However, the MECU 1 per fatality estimate used in the Commission’s 1997 document, would suggest
that the hard economic costs of road accidents in Greece amounted to some MECU 2.000 in 1994.

Information relating to further road accident figures for Greece and to the economic consequences of road
accidents is available in the communication ‘Promoting road safety in the Community’ (1). In that communica-
tion, a number of proposals for action that would contribute to the reduction of the number of road accidents are

(1) COM(97) 131.