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C 261 E/124 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.9.


(2001/C 261 E/132) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0479/01

by María Izquierdo Rojo (PSE) to the Commission

(13 February 2001)

Subject: Request for repayment by Spain of ESP 55 000 million (€ 331,1 million) for unduly paid
agricultural aid

The media have reported that the European Commission is asking Spain to repay € 331,1 million
(ESP 55 000 million) for unduly paid agricultural aid. It refers in particular to:

 failure to apply the special set-aside scheme for herbaceous crops: € 167,2 million;

 deficiencies regarding the production and consumption of olive oil: € 71,1 million;

 additional levy in the milk sector: € 61 million;

 inadequate control system for the herbaceous crops sector: € 22,1 million;

 failure to respect deadlines for aid: € 4,2 million.

Can the Commission provide detailed and full information concerning the basic data on which it is basing
its claim, together with details of the headings from which amounts were unduly paid and the possible

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(20 March 2001)

The correction relating to arable crops was arrived at by excluding, for the 1995 marketing year, all areas
set aside on which allowances were paid where a special set-aside measure not attracting allowances
should have been applied, and by taking account of the financial consequences resulting from the effect
that the rightful application of a special set-aside measure would have had on other crops.

The effect of the failure to apply a special set-aside measure in respect of irrigated and non-irrigated areas
amounts to:

 Budget heading 1060: ESP 8 967 561 774

The effect on other crops of the failure to apply a special set-aside measure in respect of irrigated and non-
irrigated areas amounts to:

 Budget heading 1052: ESP 6 990 851 920

 Budget heading 1050: ESP 11 865 361 513

In the case of production aid for olive oil, the correction amounted to 5 % of the expenditure declared
under budget heading 1210 in the 1997 and 1998 financial years, i.e.:

 5 % of ESP 75 170 366 600, and

 5 % of ESP 161 351 956 820 respectively.

In the case of the additional milk levy, the correction was arrived at as follows:

 Budget heading 2071-102: additional levy payable: ESP 8 020 335 291

 Budget heading 2071-122: interest on arrears: ESP 2 426 259 870

 Budget heading 2071-102: additional levy paid: + ESP 301 976 829

With regard to the shortcomings in controls concerning areas taken into account, the correction was based
principally on the ‘tramitada’ areas of three autonomous communities (Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon and
Andalusia), i.e. ESP 201 858 648, budget heading 1040 (1996 harvest).
18.9.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 261 E/125

A 25 % correction was made to expenditure under budget heading 1052 (ESP 3 283 310 250), i.e.
ESP 820 827 563.

A 5 % correction was made to expenditure declared under the arable crops scheme in Andalusia (1996 and
1997 harvests) in respect of the following budget headings:
 1040, 1041, 1042, 1043, 1044, 1050, 1051, 1052, 1053, 1054, 1055 and 1060: i.e.
ESP 585 106 511 (1996) and ESP 2 668 866 704 (1997).

The failure to meet deadlines for payment relates to the following budget headings:
 1053-004, 1210-063, 1210-064, 1210-074, 1858-001, 2540-001, 3100-054, 3100-114, i.e. a total
of ESP 718 317 392.

These corrections are given in detail in Summary Report AGRI-24491-2000 of 16 October 2000, which
was forwarded to Parliament on 19 February 2001.

(2001/C 261 E/133) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0487/01

by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) and Gorka Knörr Borràs (Verts/ALE) to the Commission
(22 February 2001)

Subject: Minority languages and freedom of expression in Greece

Mr Sotiris Bletsas, a member of the Society for Aromanian (Vlach) Culture, was sentenced on 2 February
2000 to fifteen months in prison and a GRD 500 000 fine for dissemination of false information (under
Article 191 of the Penal Code). The charges were based on the fact that, in July 1995, he had distributed at
the Aromanian Festival a publication of the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages which referred to
languages in Greece.

Does the Commission consider this attitude compatible with the European values of freedom of expression
and opinion and cultural and linguistic diversity? Has it asked the Greek authorities for any formal or
informal information on this issue?

Could the Commission’s Legal Services review Article 191 of the Greek penal code for compatibility with
the spirit of the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and
the rule of law recognised by the Treaties?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(4 May 2001)

The Commission takes a keen interest in this case and has been following it closely. However, on the basis
of the information currently available to it, the Commission cannot give a full answer to this question. It
has therefore asked the Greek government to communicate a copy of the judgement as soon as it becomes
available, together with any other relevant information on the case.

(2001/C 261 E/134) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0492/01

by Isidoro Sánchez García (ELDR) to the Commission
(22 February 2001)

Subject: Specific measures for transport for the Ultra-peripheral Regions

Given that the Community guidelines for implementing the Trans-European Transport Networks need to
be revised, in order adequately to integrate the ports and airports of the ultra-peripheral regions into these