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C 26 E/120 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.1.

2001

Reply

(8 June 2000)

The Council discussed the situation in Mozambique on 20 March. It had followed closely and with great
concern the situation in Mozambique (and other parts of the region) where the flooding had been one of
the most serious catastrophes to have occurred in recent years. It expressed its solidarity with the people
and government of Mozambique and the other countries of the region as they grappled with the
devastating consequences of the flooding and its sympathy with them as they set about rebuilding their
shattered lives.

It took note of the conclusions of the mission to Mozambique from 2 to 4 March, shortly after the
Mozambique government asked for help, by the President of the Development Council, the Portuguese
Secretary of State for Development Cooperation, Mr Amado, and the Commissioner for Development and
Humanitarian aid, Mr Nielson, to assess the scale of the damage and identify priority needs.

The Council also recognised the broader impact this catastrophe was likely to have on Mozambique’s
economy and development. It has endorsed the Mozambique government’s twin-track approach aiming at
meeting the immediate needs for relief while working to rehabilitate affected areas and to ensure both
macro-economic stability and the maintenance of on-going programmes of development assistance.

On the former, the Council noted that the Member States and the Community have to date pledged over
€ 85 million in emergency humanitarian aid as well as further aid in kind. The Council underlined that
this represented the major share of international contributions reported by the UN (OCHA) which
amounted to over € 120 million. In addition, the Council noted with satisfaction the solidarity shown by
the EU’s citizens in their generous response to the appeals for assistance.

On the latter, several Member States and the Community have already announced a total of € 66,5 million
in aid for rehabilitation and budgetary support and a further € 156 million in debt relief. The Council
noted that in addition to this support, € 100 million were disbursed in 1999 in Mozambique under the
Community’s co-operation programme and up to € 150 million are expected to be disbursed in 2000.

The Member States and the Community will continue to participate actively in Maputo in the co-
ordination of rehabilitation being led by the Mozambique government and look forward to making a
positive contribution to the donor conference to be held in Rome at the end of April/beginning of May. It
is only at this time that the needs will have been assessed properly and therefore that the full picture of the
resources that the Member States and the Community will make available during the reconstruction period
will become clear.

The Council will continue to follow the situation in Mozambique closely.

(2001/C 26 E/149) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0854/00
by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(21 March 2000)

Subject: Discrimination against EU citizens in Italian banks

Is the Commission aware that Italian banks charge a commission for money transferred into an Italian
account from elsewhere within the Euro zone or for paying in when the transfer or payment is made by
an EU citizen who is not resident in Italy? This commission is not charged for EU citizens who are resident
in Italy. Does the Commission not feel this is a breach of Community law guaranteeing equality of
treatment for EU citizens?
26.1.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 26 E/121

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(2 May 2000)

The cross-border credit transfer Directive (1) adopted in January 1997 and in force since 14 August 1999
introduces provisions on the transparency and performance of cross-border credit transfers. Among other
things it defines how transfer charges are to be distributed, thus allowing the possibility of avoiding double
charging. If there is no other arrangement between the customer and sending institution, the transfer is by
default an ‘OUR transfer’: i.e. the sum of all charges of the complete transaction is borne by the sender and
the beneficiary does not have to pay anything. Charges which are levied contrary to the provisions of the
Directive can be reclaimed by the customer directly from the bank.

The Commission has at present no information that Italian banks as a general practice charge commissions
for cross-border credit transfers to Italian non-resident accounts. If the Honourable Member has informa-
tion concerning such practices, the Commission would be prepared to further examine and pursue them.

However, the Commission is aware that despite the provisions of the cross-border credit transfer Directive,
cases of double charging on cross-border transfers do still exist in Italy  regardless of the resident or non-
resident status of the sender or beneficiary. Such practices are contrary to Community legislation and are
pursued when they are made known.

The fact that Italy has not yet complied with its obligation to transpose the cross-border credit transfer
Directive does not mean that the provisions of the Directive do not have to be observed. According to
judgements of the Court of justice, a sufficiently defined directive, which has not been implemented in
national law by the deadline established in the directive, can be relied upon by complainants in national
courts.

(1) Directive 97/5/EC of the Parliament and the Council of 27 January 1997, OJ L 43, 14.2.1997.

(2001/C 26 E/150) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0855/00
by Lord Inglewood (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(21 March 2000)

Subject: UK map for Structural Funds Objective 2

When in 2000 did the United Kingdom Government write to the European Commission requesting the
suspension of the process of approval for the Objective 2 map for the European Structural Funds 2000-
2006?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(19 April 2000)

The British authorities wrote on 2 February 2000 requesting suspension of the procedure while they
considered changes to the list. The Commission replied on 4 February 2000, asking for the revisions to be
submitted quickly so that the final list could be decided in order to clear the way for the programming of
actions on the ground.

Following a second letter on 24 February, in which the Commission again emphasised the urgency of a
decision, the United Kingdom replied by formally removing their suspension on 2 March 2000 and
rescinded their request for changes.