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C 304/54 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

Given the risk that the recent decision to stock 30 000 tonnes of Greek olive oil on a private basis may not have
the desired results − since it is due to be carried out by producer groups which are not sufficiently organized to
implement such a measure −, what action does the Commission intend to take to boost the market and keep
prices at levels acceptable to producers and consumers alike? Does the Commission intend to bring forward the
beginning of Community intervention which constitutes a safety valve for safeguarding farmers’ incomes?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(5 March 1998)

The Commission is following the difficult situation on the market for olive oil closely. To relieve the market
following the drop in prices, it has already proposed the grant of private storage aid for olive oil under Regulation
(EC) No 94/98 of 14 January 1998 on olive oil storage contracts for the 1997/98 marketing year (1). Of the 180
000 tonnes covered by this measure, 30 000 tonnes were authorised for Greece. There appear to be difficulties in
applying the measure in Greece owing to the small number of producers’ organisations entitled to conclude
storage contracts. The Commission is therefore seeking a legal means of helping the Greek authorities to solve
these problems and apply the measure.

As for bringing forward the opening of intervention buying-in, the Commission will first evaluate the results of
implementing the private storage measures in the various Member States before considering other market relief
measures.

(1) OJ L 9, 15.1.1998.

(98/C 304/75) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0213/98


by Bryan Cassidy (PPE) to the Commission
(11 February 1998)

Subject: International Group of P&I Clubs

I refer to Written Questions E-0164/96, E-0165/96 and E-0166/96 and the answer given by Mr Van Miert on
26 February 1996 (1). Following the Commission’s findings on the merits of a complaint lodged by the Greek
Maritime Cooperation Committee, London, against the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG P&I Clubs) on the
issue of renewing the exemption of the IG P&I Clubs from EC competition rules, the parties to the dispute made
further submissions.

However, although a considerable period of time has elapsed, the Commission has not yet delivered its final
verdict.

Can the Commission explain the reasons for this delay?

(1) OJ C 122, 25.4.1996, p. 32.

Answer given by Mr Van Miert on behalf of the Commission


(24 March 1998)

Following the complaint lodged by the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee against some aspects of the
agreements concluded within the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG), the Commission launched a wide
investigation on the P&I insurance market. This investigation led to a statement of objections being addressed to
the IG on June 1997. In reaction to the statement of objections, the IG adopted some amendments to its
arrangements in July 1997 which were ratified by the clubs later that year. In particular, it reduced the level of
cover offered from around 18 300 MECU to 3 900 MECU and granted freedom to its members to offer higher
levels. The Commission believes that these amendments should alleviate the concerns that the Honourable
Member expressed in Written Questions E-0164/96, E-0165/96 and E-0166/96. The IG submitted further
proposals to amend their arrangements in November 1997 which are currently under examination.