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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/83

Can the Commission prevail upon the Italian authorities to draw up agreements with banks as a matter of urgency
in order to ensure immediate implementation of the decree and to launch the necessary procedures, in view of the
Italian Banking Association’s willingness to cooperate, with a view to remedying as soon as possible a situation
which heavily penalizes Italians who have acquired pension rights abroad?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(15 April 1998)

The Commission would like to draw the Honourable Member’s attention to paragraph 1 of Article 53 of
Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 on the method of payment of benefits due under the provisions of Regulation (EEC)
No 1408/71 (1). This paragraph refers to Annex 6, in which the procedures for current and sundry payments are
indicated for each Member State. Sections ‘A. Belgium’ and ‘H. Italy’ indicate ‘direct payment’.

According to the information available to the Commission, pensions are currently transferred directly to the
recipient by international postal order or cheque, or in accordance with direct agreements between the payment
institution of one country and the banks of another country.

(1) Regulations Nos 1408/71 and 574/72 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons, to self-employed persons and to
members of their families moving within the Community, amended and updated by Regulation No 118/97 of 30 January 1997 (OJ L 28,

(98/C 310/110) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0545/98

by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Cable car disaster caused by a US military aeroplane

In the Val di Fiemme, in the province of Trento, Italy, a US military plane (flying very low during a military
exercise) hit the cable carrying a cable car, causing a disaster which claimed the lives of 20 people, including
Germans, Hungarians, Poles and one Italian.

Various local authorities had already pointed out the dangerous nature of such flights, and similar events have
happened in Italy in the past (for example at Casalecchio di Reno in 1990, when 12 people were killed and
90 injured, or the more widely publicized events at Ustica in 1980), without those responsible having yet been

The Italian judiciary has been prevented from carrying out any investigation into the accident, because it is under
the competence of the US military authorities. In view of the complexity of assigning judicial competence and
the possibility of conflicting responsibilities, as well as military secrecy, which constitutes an obstacle to the
investigations, can the Commission say:

1. whether it considers it appropriate to promote measures to safeguard the investigations and ensure the
relatives of the victims that justice will be done;

2. whether there is legislation designed to ensure the safety of civilians when military exercises are being
carried out?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(27 April 1998)

The Commission extends its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims and naturally hopes that the
investigation into this accident will be totally impartial. However, the investigation is completely outside the
Community’s sphere of competence, and the Commission cannot, therefore, intervene. The judicial proceedings
are the exclusive responsibility of the national and military authorities.
C 310/84 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Nor does the Community have any powers as regards the protection of civilians during exercises by military
aircraft, of the sort involved in the case in point, as the common transport policy deals only with civil aviation.
Council Directive 94/56/EC of 21 November 1994 establishing the fundamental principles governing the
investigation of civil aviation accidents and incidents (1) does not, therefore, apply to military aviation.

(1) OJ L 319, 12.12.1994.

(98/C 310/111) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0546/98

by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: The ’Di Bella’ therapy: disparities in treatment

The experimental use of a form of treatment for cancer has been causing much controversy in Italy in the last few
months. The treatment was devised by Professor Luigi Di Bella and is based on the use of a substance called
somatostatin. This treatment is being provided free of charge by the Health Service in certain regions, whilst it is
still unavailable in others, which means that Italian citizens are being subjected to wide disparities in treatment.

According to the local press and statements made by Professor Di Bella himself somatostatin is now being
produced without the necessary pharmacological quality guarantees.

In the light of the above, can the Commission say:

1. whether it does not consider that the attitude of the Italian authorities is jeopardizing the need to safeguard
public health, protect consumer rights and ensure product safety in accordance with Articles 129 and 129a of the
EC Treaty;

2. whether it does not consider that there is a disparity in the treatment received by Italian citizens;

3. what it thinks of the issue as a whole?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(17 April 1998)

The EC Treaty defines the tasks and competences of the Community in the field of public health and consumer
protection. According to Article 129 of the EC Treaty, Community action is essentially directed towards the
prevention of diseases. In the case of cancer, this objective is pursued through the ‘Europe against cancer’
programme. However, the specific methods of treating of diseases and the delivery of health care lie within the
competence and responsibility of the Member States.

Due to this responsibility of the Member States, the Commission is not in a position to make comments on the
management of the ‘new therapy’ in Italy mentioned by the Honourable Member, and on the way in which it is
made available. However, the Commission will watch future developments with interest, in particular the
planned clinical trial for the ‘Di Bella’ therapy.

(98/C 310/112) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0547/98

by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: The central dairy in Rome

With reference to Mr Fischler’s answer of 27 November 1997 to Question E-3408/97 (1) tabled by myself,
I should like to supply further information.

During the last few days the Italian press has published new information concerning the dubious management of
the Rome central dairy, which has resulted in a cash deficit of more than 57 billion.