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29.11.1999

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 341/37

as the Athens-Thessaloniki line is concerned, doubling of the Tithorea-Lianokladi line, including the Kallidromo tunnel, is also part of the railways OP. For the particularly costly and difficult section of Lianokladi-Domokos, alternative possible solutions for the doubling of the line are now under examination, before taking any final decision, in view of the next programming period.

The Commission has not received an application for the Lianokladi-Domokos project to be part-financed under the Cohesion Fund. However, along the trunk route in question the Cohesion Fund is part-financing the electrification of the Piraeus-Athens-Thessaloniki line, the works on the Thessaloniki-Alexandroupolis line, the works on the Evangelismos-Leptokarya Thriassio-Corinth line, the Thriassio Pedio marshalling yard complex, a study on linking Thriassio to the port of Piraeus and the works on the Paleofarsala-Kalambaka line. The total cost of these projects is EUR 898 million, of which the Cohesion Fund is contributing EUR 560 million. The total cost of the works on the Paleofarsala-Kalambaka line is EUR 34 million, of which the Community is contributing EUR 29 million. Any applications submitted by Greece for new projects or for changes to the projects mentioned above would be appraised in accordance with the priority criteria laid down and the financing available under the Cohesion Fund.

The Trans-European Network (TEN) budget heading is part-financing the studies for the Lianokladi-Domokos section (support totalling EUR 1,5 million was approved in 1994). The same budget heading is also part- financing the works to widen the Paleofarsala-Kalambaka line (support totalling EUR 7 million was approved in 1993).

(1999/C 341/054)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0031/99

by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission

(20 January 1999)

Subject: Special US Government aid for American farmers

The American Government is supporting US farmers by granting them ‘special aid’ to cushion them from the fall in the prices of agricultural products on the world market.

The EU, on the other hand, is engaged in an unprecedented attempt to cut agricultural spending in the Community budget, mainly by cutting subsidies for EU farmers, thereby condemning low-income farmers in southern Europe in particular to enormous losses of income.

Does the Commission consider that the provision of ‘special aid’ by the US Government to American farmers is compatible with the rules of the World Trade Organization, and how does it intend to react to prevent a further erosion of the competitiveness and incomes of European farmers?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(10 March 1999)

Members of the World trade organisation (WTO) have undertaken to reduce domestic support in accordance with quantified commitments. However, subsidies complying with specific criteria laid down in the Agreement on agriculture (so-called ‘green’ and ‘blue’ box measures) are not subject to this reduction commitment. The United States measures cited by the Honourable Member need to be notified to the World trade organisation, which will ensure a thorough examination in the light of their nature and the United States support reduction commitment.

In the Community, the present agricultural market organisations offer reasonable opportunities to react to developments in the world market. For the future, the Agenda 2000 proposal constitutes a comprehensive approach in order to increase competitiveness internally and externally in order to ensure that Community producers take full advantage of market developments.