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3. 4.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 102/167

Greece and Portugal did not supply figures for 1996. Also, there is no Greek figure for 1995. Thus, the more
recent figures for Greece and Portugal available in the report are concerning 1994 and 1995, respectively. The
ratio of taxes and social contributions reached 31.8% of GDP in Greece in 1994, and amounted to 36.2% of GDP
in Portugal in 1995.

According to the figures estimated by the Commission in the framework of its economic forecasts of spring
1997, the ratio of taxes and social contributions in percent of GDP in Greece has increased by about 1% point in
1995 and has remained stable in 1996. In Portugal, the ratio has increased by 1% point of GDP in 1996.

(98/C 102/251) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3159/97


by Bernie Malone (PSE) to the Commission
(30 September 1997)

Subject: Structural funding

Can the Commission indicate what amount of the total structural funding allocated to Ireland over the period
1994-99 has been spent so far? What projects remain to be completed and what amount has been allocated to each
of these? Has a list of priorities been prepared between the Commission and the Irish Government?

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


(11 November 1997)

In view of the length of its answer, the Commission is sending it direct to the Honourable Member and to
Parliament’s Secretariat.

(98/C 102/252) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3246/97


by Yves Verwaerde (PPE) to the Commission
(9 October 1997)

Subject: High-Level Experts Group on the social and societal aspects of the Information Society

Will the Commission indicate the membership of the High-Level Experts Group on the social and societal
aspects of the Information Society?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(6 November 1997)

The Commission is sending the information requested direct to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s
Secretariat.

(98/C 102/253) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3277/97


by Elly Plooij-van Gorsel (ELDR) to the Commission
(13 October 1997)

Subject: European importers of Bangladeshi textiles suffering from export duty levied retrospectively

Under the GSP imports from Bangladesh with certificates of origin are admitted to the European market on more
favourable terms.
C 102/168 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4. 98

It appears that not all certificates issued by the authorities are issued properly. As a result, and on the
recommendation of the Commission, Bangladesh has declared 15 000 certificates of origin invalid with
retroactive effect. The Commission intends to levy import duties in respect of imports made in the years
1994-1996. This will cause considerable financial problems for many European importers.

1. Does the Commission feel that the Bangladesh authorities have sufficient expertise in preparing certificates
of origin? If not, has the Commission provided them with adequate assistance in issuing them correctly?

2. When did the Commission become aware of the technical problems involving the certificates? Did it then
immediately notify the imparters?

3. If not, why not? Does the Commission expect importers themselves to check the validity of official
government certificates of origin? If so, how can businesses do so?

4. Does the Commission feel that it is right to levy duties retrospectively because of invalid official
certificates? If so, does the Commission think it is reasonable to charge duty retrospectively three years after the
date of import?

5. How does the Commission intend to prevent this of problem in the future?

Answer given by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission


(18 November 1997)

In view of the length of its answer, the Commission is sending it direct to the Honourable Member and to
Parliament’s Secretariat.

(98/C 102/254) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3296/97


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(20 October 1997)

Subject: Moves by Turkey to destabilize the Aegean

It has been reported in the press that the Turkish secret services are drawing up plans aimed at destabilizing the
Aegean under the pretext of ‘pursuing’ persons masquerading as Kurdish guerrillas to one of the islands of the
Eastern Aegean.

The whole operation is intended to discredit one of the Member States of the EU, namely Greece, by suggesting it
is a centre of terrorism and to undermine Greek sovereignty, while ostensibly combating and preventing acts of
terrorism.

Given that Turkey is a state linked to the EU by association agreement, which means that it is duty-bound to
respect the rules of international law, will the Commission say what it intends to do in order to forestall a general
destabilization of the Aegean, the consequences of which would be felt by the EU itself?

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


(17 November 1997)

The Commission takes the view that it has no jurisdiction in this matter.