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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/57

3. During the programming phase the regional partners must give written assurance that measures cofinanced
by the ERDF will be compatible with Community environmental legislation. The subsidiarity and partnership
principles mean that the regional partners are responsible for programme implementation and for checking that
environmental legislation is observed. Further, annual reports must state what measures have been taken to
ensure environmental protection. The latest available report for Brandenburg states that for all projects the
opinion of the environmental protection department of the local administration is required. Compliance may also
be verified and ensured by means of on-the-spot checks by the Commission.

(98/C 310/72) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0398/98


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Conversion of an Armenian Monastery into a Hotel in Occupied Cyprus

According to reports in the Turkish newspaper the ‘Kibris Postasi’ the Armenian monastery of ‘Sourp Magar’
dating from the year 1000 AD which was bombarded by the Turkish invading forces is to be converted into a
50-bed hotel. The monastery is situated in the area of Kyrenia in occupied Cyprus. The illegitimate government
intends to lease it for 49 years for $20 000 annually.

This is another example of the disregard shown by the Turkish occupying forces for the cultural heritage of the
island and is a clear indication of the respect due to Christian buildings in the eyes of the powers illegally
occupying the Northern part of Cyprus.

What action does the Commission intend to take in response to this manifestly illegal action by a brutal regime
supported only by its 40 000 strong armed forces which have been occupying 40% of Cyprus for 24 years?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(16 March 1998)

The recent visits of 800 Turkish Cypriots to a mosque in Larnaca and the pilgrimages of several hundreds of
Greek Cypriots to a monastery in the north of the island are modest signs of progress in the relations between the
two communities. The respect of each other’s cultural heritage is a fundamental step in preserving the identify of
the two Cypriot communities. The Commission would like to utilise part of the funds of the fourth financial
protocol for the restoration of monuments in the entire island (as a bi-communal project). Although until now this
has not been possible, the Commission will continue to support this type of initiative and hopes that the political
circumstances in Cyprus might eventually allow its implementation.

(98/C 310/73) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0404/98


by Katerina Daskalaki (UPE) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Problems affecting the production of olive oil, cotton and citrus fruits

Greek farmers blame problems affecting the production of olive oil, cotton and citrus fruits on what they regard
as particularly unfavourable decisions by Brussels. They maintain that Greek cotton production is coming under
pressure and that citrus fruit production is being adversely affected by the WTO agreement limiting subsidized
export levels. Greek olive growers are suffering as a result of over production in Spain and the refusal of the
Commissioner responsible to take appropriate measures. Community subsidies for Greek olive oil have been
reduced by 30% but instead of speeding up Community intervention the Commission is now calling for the
creation of Community-funded private reserves. Is the Commission aware that Greece does not have the
necessary infrastructure and does it intend to take any measures of a general nature to alleviate the situation of
C 310/58 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Greek farmers which is becoming acutely difficult, threatening to spark off a further round of mass protests?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(19 March 1998)

The Commission does not share the Greek farmers’ analysis as reported by the Honourable Member regarding
the problems which they are said to be facing on the markets in olive oil, cotton and citrus fruit.

Specifically on the question of olive oil, the Commission would like to point out that the fall in prices on the
market is due to high production in all producer Member States over two consecutive marketing years and to the
management decision of olive growers to keep back large quantities of oil instead of placing them on the market
in the previous marketing year. The drop in support in Greece, via production aid, involves only about 25% of
growers. The remaining 75% are not affected by the application of the budget stabiliser since they are treated as
small producers within the meaning of Council Regulation No 136/66/EEC of 22 September 1966 on the
establishment of a common organisation of the market in oils and fats (1).

To cope with the difficult market situation, the Commission has already taken measures in the form of private
storage aid, authorising the storage of 30 000 tonnes of olive oil in Greece. It has also made the regulatory
provisions clearer in order to assist producer organisations to take better advantage of this scheme. Before
contemplating other market intervention measures, the Commission would like to await the results of
implementing this private storage aid scheme.

(1) OJ 172, 30.09.1966.

(98/C 310/74) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0405/98


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(24 February 1998)

Subject: Use of radioactive iron for the construction of the Athens underground railway

According to reports in the Greek press, iron from Chernobyl containing the carcinogenic radioactive substances
caesium and strontium is being used in the construction of the Athens underground railway. The same reports
indicate that no checks have been carried out to establish the levels of caesium 137 and strontium contained in the
iron used for the construction of the Athens underground railway and that it is being imported through many
different companies making it difficult to ascertain its origin.

What are the Commission’s official views on this and what measures will it take to establish whether the iron
being used is in fact radioactive since this is certain to affect the health of the millions of Athenians using the
underground line?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(14 April 1998)

The Commission is aware that scrap metals containing radioactive substances are occasionally detected either at
the border posts of entry into the Community or at the gates of the industries dealing with scrap metals. In the vast
majority of the cases detected, the levels of radioactivity did not require particular radiation protection measures
to be taken.

In July 1996 the Commission organised a meeting with representatives of Member States to consider the subject.
It concluded that although the possibility of the presence in the scrap metals of an important radiation source
cannot be completely ruled out, the existing radiation protection measures in place in the Member States ensure
an adequate level of safety, reached through the system of control of the sources established in the Member
States in compliance with the Council Directive No 96/29/Euratom of 13 May 1996 (1) laying down basic safety
standards for the health protection of the general public and workers against the dangers of ionising radiation.