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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/141

The risk assessment is currently under finalization so that it is premature to draw firm conclusions about the need
for actions in specific sectors. However, the final report is expected shortly.

The outcome of the risk assessment, together with the results of the study on advantages and drawbacks of
banning certain azo dyes and products treated with them and of the study on the effects of a ban on suppliers in
developing countries, will provide information on the need for and proportionality of harmonised restrictions.
The result of the study programme will form a basis for further discussions with Member State experts and a
possible Commission proposal to introduce harmonised legislation.

(98/C 304/210) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0621/98
by Angela Billingham (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 1998)

Subject: Kurdish Community in Diyarbakir

Is the Commission aware of the allegation that the Kurdish community in Diyarbakir is being poisoned by
sewage being pumped into its water supply? It is alleged that what used to be a fertile valley is dying and that
many children are becoming ill. If true, is this acceptable behaviour from a country seeking to join the European
Union?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission
(31 March 1998)

The Commission is well aware of the low level of socio-economic development in the south-east of Turkey,
exemplified, among other things, by the poor state of sewerage systems in several parts of that region. Leaks
from the sewerage systems affect the health of the most vulnerable sections of the population, including children.
The Turkish authorities are aware of this problem. It was on the agenda of the meeting of the Turkish National
Security Council of 26 February 1998.

Since 1997, under the MEDA programme, the Commission has chosen to focus in particular on basic
infrastructure and projects for improving socio-economic development in south-east Turkey. Last year it
approved a drinking water project for Sanliurfa worth more than ECU 21 million. It has also allocated financing
(almost ECU 23 million) in the form of interest-rate subsidies on loans from the European Investment Bank
(EIB) to improve the sewerage systems in Adana and Izmit.

As regards the city of Diyarbakir, the Commission has programmed interest rate subsidies for 1998 on an EIB
loan for the Diyarbakir Water and Sewerage Administration to build a sewage treatment plant and a sewerage
system.

(98/C 304/211) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0625/98
by Juan Colino Salamanca (PSE) and Jesús Cabezón Alonso (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 1998)

Subject: COM in raw tobacco: use of the research fund

The current proposal to reform the COM in raw tobacco establishes a Community Tobacco Fund, funded by
holding back the equivalent of 2% of the subsidy; the current level is 1%.
C 304/142 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

1. What is the total amount of funding raised from the subsidy over the first three years?

2. What research programmes or other activities have been carried out in previous years with monies from this
research fund?

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

During the first three years (1995, 1996 and 1997), the Commission made payments totalling ECU 3.26 million
from the Community tobacco research and information fund. These payments were for the implementation of the
first phases of what are in most cases multiannual projects (extending, in the case of research, over five years).
The Commission has approved total funding of ECU 25.88 million for research and information projects, the last
of which will be completed in 2003.

The programmes selected for funding from the Community tobacco research and information fund from those
submitted in response to the two invitations to tender are given in the table sent directly to the Honourable
Members and to the Secretariat of Parliament.

(98/C 304/212) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0648/98
by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(25 February 1998)

Subject: Abolition of co-responsibility levy for olive oil

The olive oil market in Greece is in a state of crisis. Excess production in the European Union has led to a 27%
reduction of Community aid for production, and there has been a spectacular fall in market prices owing to the
surpluses.

Given the importance of olive oil production for Greece, will the Commission abolish the co-responsibility levy
for Greece for this year, so that Greek olive oil producers are not penalized because of the approximate tripling of
Spanish production?

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

The Commission is following closely developments on the Community market for olive oil, and has already
taken measures to relieve the market in the form of private storage aid for olive oil.

The Commission cannot depart from the rules laid down in Regulation No 136/66/EEC on the establishment of a
common organisation of the market in oils and fats (1). This Regulation is a Council Regulation. The
Commission cannot therefore abolish the effects of the stabiliser mechanism on production aid for Greece for
this year.

The Honourable Member’s attention is however drawn to the fact that, in the event of an overrun of the maximum
guaranteed quantity, it is production aid to producers exceeding 500 kilograms of olive oil per marketing year
(‘large-scale’ producers) that is cut. According to the information in the Commission’s possession, only about
25% of olive growers in Greece will be affected by this reduction.

Finally, it should be noted that during the 1994/95 and 1995/96 marketing years, Spanish olive growers were
subject to the stabiliser when Spain was affected by a serious drought and production fell to record lows.

(1) OJ 172, 30.9.1966.