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C 102/156 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4.


Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission

(7 October 1997)

As the plan for the take over of Sicilcassa by the Banco di Sicilia could involve state aid under Articles 92 and
93 of the EC Treaty and might distort competition in the sense of Article 92 (1) of the Treaty, the Commission
recently asked the Italian authorities to submit all the necessary information that may be useful to assess the
existence of state aid and to evaluate its compatibility with the common market.

As for the possible application of Council Regulation (EEC) No 4064/89 (the ‘merger regulation’) on the control
of concentrations between undertakings (1) to this take over, it appears that the operation would not fall under its
scope as both Sicilcassa and Banco di Sicilia have more than two-thirds of their turnover in the same Member
State (Italy). Therefore, this operation does not have to be notified to the Commission on the basis of these rules.
Under the system of competence sharing for merger control in the Community, the national Italian authorities
have full competence to proceed to the competitive assessment of a national merger which is not of Community

(1) OJ L 395, 30.12.1989.

(98/C 102/233) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2967/97

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

Subject: Assistance in the home for people with special needs

About 700 physically and mentally handicapped people are living in appalling conditions on the Greek islands of
Leros and Kalimnos, including 25 former sponge divers. They receive no help from their families or from
qualified personnel and no financial assistance to help them lead decent lives. The ‘Assistance in the Home’
programme was launched in response to such problems. However, those referred to above are not included in it.

1. What is the scope and purpose of the programme?

2. Why were the above persons excluded from it?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(28 October 1997)

The ‘Assistance in the Home’ programme referred to by the Honourable Member has not up to now received
financial assistance from the Community.

Consequently, the Commission is unable to inform the Honourable Member about the implementation of the
programme and would therefore suggest that he contact the Greek authorities.

(98/C 102/234) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2968/97

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

Subject: Creation of day centres for the care of people with special needs

The pilot programme to combat exclusion from the employment market and in particular Sub-Programme 1 for
the ‘insertion and reinsertion into the employment market of people with special needs’, is intended for people
with psychological disorders or mental handicaps in order to help them lead independent lives. This
sub-programme, together with the ‘health and welfare’ pilot programme is concerned with the creation and
operation of day centres for the care of people with special needs.