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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/151

(98/C 310/208) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0964/98

by David Thomas (PSE) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: SRM BAN

Does the Commission consider that the proposed regionalization of the rules relating to SRMs are compatible
with the basic principles of a single market set out, inter alia, in Articles 2 and 3 of the Treaties? To what extent
would such rules provide effective consumer protection, given the impossibility of monitoring the proposed

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 1998)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to the reply it gave to his oral question H-0282/98 during
question time at Parliament’s March II 1998 part-session (1).

(1) Debates of the Parliament (March 1998).

(98/C 310/209) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0969/98

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(30 March 1998)

Subject: Greek companies in the FYROM

The Greek company ‘Leaf Tobacco A. Mihailidis SA’ has set up a tobacco factory in the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which employs 278 permanent and 151 seasonal workers and has invested
significant amounts of money ($5 million) after concluding an agreement with the Government. In July 1997 the
minister responsible defied existing legislation and granted partial authorization to the company in question
which undertook to buy tobacco only from the south-western part of the country.

What does the Commission intend to do to investigate these allegations and ensure that existing legislation in the
country is implemented?

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

(22 April 1998)

Economic relations between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece have improved
substantially since late 1995. The Commission is aware of problems with which several Greek investors in the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are currently confronted including the case mentioned by the
Honourable Member.

The Commission is not in a position to check whether, in this particular case, the granting of a regional
purchasing licence for tobacco by the authorities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is in conformity
with relevant national legislation. On the other hand, the Commission has mentioned this case on several
occasions including at the first meeting of the cooperation council under the cooperation agreement between the
Community and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which took place in Skopje on 20/21 March 1998.

The authorities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia were reminded of the importance of creating the
appropriate framework conditions for crucially needed foreign direct investment in the country and to promote
industrial cooperation with the Community in accordance with Articles 4 and 6 of the cooperation agreement.
The Commission was assured by these authorities that a solution to this particular case could be reached in order
to allow the purchase of tobacco by tobacco processors in all prefectures.