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C 304/2 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.


to ensure a sustainable development of the eel fisheries within the Community. This advice should be provided in
1998 and any possible proposals on aspects such as regulating exports of glass eels will be deferred until then.

(98/C 304/02) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3622/97
by Giuseppe Rauti (NI) to the Commission
(13 November 1997)

Subject: Protecting the rights of taxi drivers in Italy and Europe

Is the Commission aware that a huge protest movement is spreading among taxi drivers in Italy, who complain
that various Italian legal provisions − which fly in the face of various European Directives − place them at a
severe fiscal disadvantage? Italian taxi drivers are, for example, prevented from recovering VAT on the purchase
of both vehicles and all the ‘ancillary’ items (from fuel to replacement parts) required to run what is their only
means of work and income. They are also obliged to ply their trade on the basis of what are know as
‘administrative fares’, which are not based on a realistic analysis of costs. Furthermore − to give but one of many
other possible examples − in 1990 a ‘decree’ issued by Mr Formica (Socialist), the minister in charge of such
matters at the time, deprived taxi drivers of 30% of their fuel refund, a further 30% of which was removed in 1991
by Minister Goria (Christian Democrat). In 1992 a further 30% was cut by Minister Amato (Socialist), with the
remaining 10% becoming a withholding tax.

Would the Commission not agree that it should make representations to the Italian Government with a view to
ensuring compliance with the relevant Community legislation?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission
(6 January 1998)

The Commission is aware that VAT legislation in Italy does not allow taxi firms (whose transport operations are
exempt by virtue of a temporary derogation from the principle of taxation under the Sixth Council Directive
(77/388/EEC) of 17 May 1977 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes −
Common system of VAT: uniform basis of assessment (1)) to recover tax paid on their acquisitions of goods and
services. This is in keeping with the provision of the Directive whereby VAT is deductible in so far as the goods
and services acquired are used for the purposes of taxed operations.

The Member State in question does, of course, have the right not to apply the derogation and to charge VAT on
the transport of persons, thereby permitting recovery of the VAT paid on goods and services acquired.

(1) OJ L 145, 13.6.1977.

(98/C 304/03) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3866/97
by José Valverde López (PPE) to the Commission
(5 December 1997)

Subject: Energy self-sufficiency in Andalusia

Andalusia’s self-sufficiency rate in energy is a mere 8%, although the figure for Spain as a whole is 30%.

Can the Commission state what projects for local production (on the basis of cogeneration and renewable energy)
have been funded from the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund in the past, or are being funded now?