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C 26 E/84 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.

2001

(2001/C 26 E/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0659/00
by Camilo Nogueira Román (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(9 March 2000)

Subject: Sinking of the trading vessel ‘Zafir’

Some days ago, the ‘Zafir’, a Portuguese-registered trading vessel, belonging to a Swiss-based shipping
company, sank after being struck by the Italian vessel ‘Expresso Catania’ in south Italian waters, with the
loss of thirteen lives. Most of those who died were Galician seamen.

Has the Commission taken any steps to clarify the causes of the sinking of the ‘Zafir’, recover the bodies of
the men lost and provide support for the families of the crew, both as regards their immediate needs and
any compensation to which they may be entitled?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission
(6 April 2000)

Like the honourable Member, the Commission learned through media coverage that the trading vessel
‘Zafir’ sank off the coast of Calabria, Italy. The Commission regrets the tragic consequences of the accident
and the irretrievable loss of human lives and extends its sympathy to the victims’ families.

As regards the causes of the accident, we must await the results of the inquiry that the Italian authorities
are carrying out. The Commission must emphasise that sea rescue and salvage do not come under its
jurisdiction, which explains why the authorities involved in the aftermath of the accident did not seek its
assistance.

For its part, the Commission places great emphasis on safety at sea in the context of transport policy. In
this perspective, it believes that measures must be taken at Community level to improve safety. To this
end, it has submitted a number of specific proposals on this topic to the Council, in particular regarding
oil tankers (1).

Other specific proposals designed to improve safety at sea will be put forward by the end of the year.

(1) COM(2000) 142 final.

(2001/C 26 E/103) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0660/00
by Camilo Nogueira Román (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(9 March 2000)

Subject: The Galician companies Bazan and Astano in the merger of Spanish State shipyards

The Spanish national authority responsible for industrial State holdings is considering the possible merger
of the Galician shipyards belonging to the firms Bazan and Astano, to form a single civil and military ship-
building company.

Does the Commission know about this and can it say whether the merger would mean that the Galician
shipyards could therefore start building ships for the merchant navy once again?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission
(10 April 2000)

This Written Question deals with the same subject as the Honourable Member’s Written Question
E-94/00 (1). The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its reply to that question. As was
explained in that reply, any merged company would be unable to resume merchant shipbuilding.

(1) OJ C 280 E, 3.10.2000, p. 176.