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C 117/38 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 16. 4.

98

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-2648/97 and E-2668/97
given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission
(8 October 1997)

Steroids have been available for decades. They are powerful medicaments that have proved their effectiveness in
various therapeutic applications. However, in certain situations they may have serious undesirable effects.
Therefore their prescription must follow the well known human-medicine principle of the balance between the
advantage and risk deriving from the administration of a given medicament.

All those medicaments containing steroids currently on the market have been authorised by the Member States
involved. They should, under the Community law in force, (a) acquire all of the information needed in order to
monitor those medicaments and in particular that concerning any undesirable effects they may have on human
beings and (b) assess that information at scientific level by linking it to the consumption of steroids and taking
account of the − frequently-observed − cases of incorrect use and serious abuse of those medicaments.

Where, in the light of the pharmacological-monitoring information thus received a Member States feels that it
should amend, suspend or withdraw the marketing authorisation for a medicament it is then required
immediately to inform the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products. In addition that
Member State has the option, where it feels this to be justified, of laying the matter before the Agency before any
decision is taken. So far neither of those two procedures has yet been initiated in the case of medicinal steroids.

(98/C 117/49) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2649/97


by Roberto Mezzaroma (UPE) to the Commission
(1 September 1997)

Subject: Tax harmonization

The Commission is requested to turn its attention to the serious problem faced by construction companies in
connection with the indirect taxation levied via the Communal Tax on Immovable Property (the ICI) in Italy.

As you may know, since 1993 this tax has been levied ‘indiscriminately’ on buildings, building land and
agricultural land, whoever the owner might be, at a rate varying between 4 and 7 per thousand, calculated by
reference to the cadastral value plus 10% in the case of buildings, or the market value in the case of building land.

The inequality to which attention is drawn is the fact that the building industry, which is already suffering the
effects of a housing market that has been in the doldrums since 1992, is now liable to pay tax both on the finished
product (buildings) and the raw material (building land), which is not the case in any other sector of industry.

So the ICI, in addition to having contributed to the contraction of the housing market, has considerably
aggravated the already precarious financial situation of the building industry in that firms have to pay tax on
unsold or yet to be constructed buildings as well as bearing the cost of the financial charges involved.

A further contradiction and inconsistency arises from the fact that, since 1 January 1993, the ICI has replaced
both the ILOR (local income tax) and the INVIM (communal tax on increases in the value of immovable
property), which were accordingly abolished, and hence it was supposed to operate to the taxpayer’s advantage.

This measure did not, however, provide any relief for the building industry, for the following reasons. ILOR was
not payable by construction companies because immovable property constituted the goods which it was the
business of such firms to produce and trade in, and so the firms were not liable to pay tax on the basis of the
cadastral value of such property but on the income it generated.

The ICI, however, amounts to an annual charge on the ownership of immovable property, which, while it may
very well be an indicator of fiscal capacity in the case of a private citizen, is the exact opposite in the case of a
building company.

What action does the Commission intend to take to resolve this problem, which seriously affects many
construction companies and undoubtedly results in a large number of bankruptcies and significant job losses, and
also means that the question of fiscal harmonization will not yet have been resolved for all countries including
Italy, which is seriously handicapped by problems of this nature, by the date set for the introduction of the single
currency?