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

98

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?
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/3

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission
(9 February 1998)

In 1986-91, Andalusia received approximately ECU 25 million under the Community Initiative Valoren for 126
projects to promote local production of alternative energy (solar, wind power, biomass) and to improve the use of
energy.

In 1994-99, the Commission is granting assistance from the European Regional Development Fund of
ECU 118.3 million for a global grant managed by IDAE (Instituto para la diversificación y el ahorro energético)
covering all the Spanish areas eligible under Objective 1 for the same purposes as the assistance mentioned
above. Since this is a programme depending on applications received, a regional breakdown of the figure given is
currently not possible.

The operational programme for Andalusia also provides, over the same period and in the field of alternative
energy, for several aid schemes part-financed by the ERDF with a volume of approximately ECU 14 million.

The Cohesion Fund has not supported any projects of this kind in the region, as the scope of this Fund is to
finance projects in the field of the environment and transport infrastructures of common interest.

(98/C 304/04) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3904/97
by Cristiana Muscardini (NI) to the Council
(10 December 1997)

Subject: Tourist massacre in Egypt

In the wake of the massacre of tourists in the Valley of Queens in Egypt at the hands of Islamist terrorists
organized along the lines of a full-scale revolutionary army, Europe cannot postpone the following decisions:
1. to assist President Mubarak’s government in taking drastic and resolute action against terrorism and Islamic
fundamentalism;
2. to obtain guarantees of the safety of all those visiting Egypt for the purposes of business or tourism in order
to ensure that it retains its links to the West;
3. to protect the architectural and cultural heritage of Egypt, whose history belongs to and must be safeguarded
by the international community as a whole.

Will the Council say what specific measures it intends to promote in order to combat collusion in the EU Member
States between international terrorist groups, specifically Islamist terrorists?

Answer
(28 May 1998)

1. The Council condemns terrorism in any form and supports Egypt in its fight against it.

2. The internal and external threats posed by terrorism to the European Union are regularly reviewed by the
Council bodies. On 15 October 1996, the Council adopted a Joint Action concerning the creation and
maintenance of a Directory of specialized counter-terrorist competences, skills and expertise to facilitate
counter-terrorist cooperation between the Member States of the European Union (1).

On the basis of the arrangements concluded for the exchange of operational information in this area, meetings
and seminars are regularly held to help combat all aspects of terrorism.

3. In the light of the expected entry into force of the Europol Convention, the Council agreed on 19 March
1998 to take a decision on the extension of the mandate of Europol to cover the fight against terrorism as soon as
possible after Europol takes up its activities (Article 2 of the Convention).

(1) OJ L 273, 25.10.1996, p. 1.