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C 304/24 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

what is the Commission’s view of the joint opinion and the agreements referred to above, and what are its
intentions with regard to overcoming the problems that continue to arise in this sector?

(1) OJ L 18, 21.1.1997, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission
(13 March 1998)

The Commission is concerned by the fact that firms providing transnational services in the territory of a host
Member State are required to meet identical obligations under both the law of the Member State in which they are
established and the law of the host Member State. Such situations occur mainly in the construction sector, where
some Member States have social insurance schemes that are responsible for paying benefits to workers, e.g. for
paid leave, and are financed by employers’ contributions. Such situations, which cause double payments to be
levied on employers, run counter to the freedom to provide services and are inconsistent with the provisions of
Directive 96/71/EC, the deadline for transposition of which expires on 16 December 1999. In laying down
precise rules to be complied with by service providers in host Member States, Directive 96/71/EC specifically
aims at avoiding double payment situations.

All solutions likely to remedy such situations must be considered. The Commission has called on the Member
States’ representatives in the group it has set up to monitor transposition of the Directive to cooperate actively in
seeking solutions.

The Commission welcomes the joint opinion recently adopted by the social partners in the construction sector at
European level and the bilateral collective agreements concluded at national level with a view to ensuring respect
for workers’ rights and preventing the double payment of employers’ contributions.

The Commission is very much in favour of agreement-based solutions which are properly geared to the often
complex situation in the sector concerned.

(98/C 304/34) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0054/98
by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Dramatic reduction in Community olive oil subsidies

Olive oil producers in Greece are in a very difficult economic position, following the decision to cut the
Community support price from Drachma 457 a kilo to Drachma 301 a kilo.

This decision has driven producers to despair, since they will lose a total of some Drachma 180 billion in 1998, a
loss which comes at a time when they are suffering an unprecedented fall in income, owing to the repeated
austerity programmes implemented by Greek governments over the last few years. Their objective inability to
replace olive oil production with some other product makes the situation even more complicated, and they
increasingly feel that they are producing a product which does not enjoy the substantive support of the EU.

Will the Commission say precisely what measures it intends to take to support long-suffering Greek olive oil
producers whose future will obviously be in jeopardy if the decision to cut the Community support price for olive
oil is implemented?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(26 February 1998)

The common organisation of the market in olive oil lays down a system of production aid for olive oil, as
follows:
− producers who exceed an average 500 kilograms of olive oil per marketing year are granted aid of
ECU 142.20 per 100 kilograms, subject to reduction if there is an overrun of the maximum guaranteed
quantity (MGQ), which is 1 350 000 tonnes;
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/25

− producers with average annual production under 500 kilograms are granted aid of ECU 151.48 per 100
kilograms and supplementary aid of ECU 3.574 per 100 kilograms. Small producers are not penalised by an
overrun of the MGQ.

Clawbacks on are made on both types of production aid and allocated to work on establishing the olive
cultivation register (2.4%), improving the quality of olive oil (1.4%) and running recognised producer
organisations and associations of them (0.8%).

The cut in production aid to which the Honourable Member refers involves aid received by large-scale producers
for output in the 1996/97 marketing year. According to the information in the Commission’s possession, such
producers represent around 25% of all olive growers in Greece.

Finally, we should not forget that this aid makes up only part of olive growers’ incomes, since they are in fact
paid for the olive oil that they sell.

(98/C 304/35) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0063/98
by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Lower than anticipated costs of the swine fever crisis in the Netherlands

Reports appeared recently in the Dutch press indicating that the costs of the swine fever crisis in the Netherlands
would prove lower than originally expected.

1. Can the Commission indicate the cost of the swine fever outbreak for the European budget in the
Netherlands and in other EU Member States where the disease occurred and, by implication, the costs for the
national budgets of the Member States?

2. Does the Commission see any reason to change the approach to swine fever outbreaks in future if the
‘marker’ vaccines come onto the market quickly?

3. Does the Commission see any reason, following the outbreak in recent years of animal diseases such as
BSE and swine fever, to change the provisions on financial compensation from the European budget?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission
(12 March 1998)

1. The amounts paid up to 31 December 1997 are the following:

Veterinary expenditure Eradication surveillance Exceptional
Member State (Article 3 Council Decision programmes market support
90/424/EEC (1)) (1997+1998) measures

Belgium 2 − 3.49
Germany 5 2.3 14.4
Spain 4 − 48.3
Italy − 1.6 −
(including
African swine fever (ASF)
Netherlands 31.3 − 431.4

TOTAL 42.3 3.9 497.59

These figures refer to decisions or regulations already adopted by the Commission on the basis of the information
provided by the Member States concerned, funds available and evolution of disease. Therefore, the figures
cannot be considered as definitive.The cost of the most recent outbreaks of classical swine fever in Germany and
the veterinary expenditure which could not have been taken into consideration due to shortage of credit
(estimated 100 MECU) is also not included.