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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/9

(98/C 304/12) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4057/97
by Ulla Sandbæk (I-EDN) to the Council
(15 January 1998)

Subject: Weapons training in Greece

Could the Council kindly comment on the measure taken by the Greek Government in respect of the new
‘people’s defence’ legislation? According to the provisions of the bill, which the government says will have to be
put to the vote by the end of the year, all citizens − men and women − may be called up for weapons training
once a year for a period from 4 to 12 days.

Is the Council aware of this situation? And is this not a violation against the human rights of the Greek people and
a measure that might increase hatred for neighbouring countries and increase fear and hostility, especially in the
areas bordering on Turkey?

Answer
(18 May 1998)

The Council has not been informed of the situation described by the Honourable Member. This question,
moreover, does not come within the Community’s sphere of competence and concerns a situation which is a
matter for the Member State concerned.

(98/C 304/13) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4139/97
by Angela Sierra González (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(21 January 1998)

Subject: Waste on islands

According to information recently made available by the authorities of the autonomous government, the Canary
Islands currently generates approximately 1 million tonnes of waste each year. This makes the islands a major
waste producer, bearing in mind also the considerable flow of visitors to the islands as a result of the heavy
tourism they attract.

Recently, the Commission’s DG XI published a manual on codes of practice for waste management on islands,
dealing with the specific waste management problems encountered in island regions.

One of the most effective ways of helping island regions reduce the quantity of waste could be the waste
generation prevention programme which the European Commission has identified as a focal point for its
Community strategy for waste management. In the case of island regions, this programme could be implemented
in line with the principle of ‘preventing the introduction of waste’, bearing in mind that the vast majority of
products which subsequently become waste have their origin outside the islands and are imports.

The introduction of measures to restrict import into the islands of excess packaging or non-returnable containers
could help improve waste management. This would prevent the creation of waste and the serious social,
environmental and economic problems it produces.

Although this measure might be in breach of the principle of the free movement of goods within the European
Union, account must be taken, as it is in other cases (incentives for transport or supplies, for example) of the
special nature of the island regions, particularly the outermost ones, which are remote from waste producing
centres.

Will the Commission adopt a waste management strategy for islands which restricts the import of products with
excess packaging and non-returnable containers, while also limiting their production in the islands?

Is it possible for the Spanish or Canary Island authorities to introduce rules restricting the import of goods with
excess packaging or non-returnable containers?

Does the Commission believe that the specific nature of the island and outermost regions justifies the adoption of
measures to restrict the import of these products into the islands, so as to prevent a serious environmental
problem from occurring?