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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/129

(2003/C 137 E/146) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2878/02

by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Relocation of the tramline route in Athens

Recently the Greek Government decided to relocate the tramline as a result of damage which might be
caused to the historic Hadrian’s Arch monument as a result of vibrations from the wires as trams went
past. In spite of the fact that this problem was identified by archaeologists before work on tramline
construction began, the government went ahead with construction work on the line at that precise spot.

1. Since the project is funded from the third CSF, did the Commission approve the initial tramline

2. Will it cover the additional cost which will arise from the moving of the line and how much will this
amount to?

(2003/C 137 E/147) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2947/02

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(18 October 2002)

Subject: Rerouting of the tramline in Athens

The section of the route decided on by the ministries responsible for the Athens tram route is being
cancelled in favour of a new alternative route. The reason for this is the danger the tram’s vibrations pose
to the Hadrian’s Arch archaeological monument, which is located near the path of the tram route, as well
as the danger posed to archaeological finds which are still buried very close to the surface. Archaeologists
raised serious objections and criticisms regarding the original route, which were not taken into account,
and the environmental impact study did not include any investigation into the effects on archaeological

Meanwhile, thousands of Athenians were exposed to unimaginable inconvenience and expense as a result
of the traffic congestion caused by construction work on the section of the project which has now been

Since this project is being funded by the third CSF and the European Investment Bank:

1. What amount of resources has been wasted, calculated from the start of work, on that part of the
project which has now been abandoned?

2. What additional costs will the new alternative route for the tramline incur? Will they be covered by
resources from the third CSF?

3. Was the Commission aware of the archaeologists’ warnings, which were heeded too late? What
position did the Commission adopt in its communications with the responsible Greek authorities?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-2878/02 and E-2947/02
given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(11 November 2002)

The major project for the construction of the Athens tramway is included among those foreseen under the
Operational Programme ‘Railways, Airports, Urban Transport, 2000-2006’. Up to the present,
the Commission has not received a specific demand for the realisation of this project from the Greek
C 137 E/130 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

The procedure for the approval of major projects for support from the European Regional Development
Fund (ERDF) requires the Greek authorities to submit an application as provided for under Articles 25 and
26 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the
Structural Funds (1). The application should concern the project in its definitive form.

Expenditures eligible for ERDF support can only include those submitted by the Member State in its final
application to the Commission.

(1) OJ L 161, 26.6.1999.

(2003/C 137 E/148) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2888/02

by Adriana Poli Bortone (UEN) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: Floods in Salento  European Union intervention

The Commission recently proposed to the Community budgetary authorities that a Solidarity Fund of
EUR 1 billion be set up to assist populations in the Union hit by natural disasters; the European Parliament
and the Council of the European Union have initially welcomed the Commission’s decision.

The recent floods in Puglia, and in the Salento area in particular, have destroyed most of this year’s harvest
with obvious serious economic repercussions throughout the area. In view of the severity of the floods,
they can be regarded as a major natural disaster.

Consequently, can the Commission include the Salento area in the areas eligible for exceptional aid
provided by the future Solidarity Fund for natural disasters?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(25 November 2002)

The condition for the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to be mobilised is the presence of a major
disaster defined as causing damage of at least EUR 3 billion or 0,6 % of the gross national income of the
affected Member State. In exceptional circumstances the Fund may also be mobilised for extraordinary
disasters affecting the major part of a region’s population with serious and lasting effects on living
conditions and the economic stability.

The Commission does not possess an estimation on the nature and scale of the damages in Puglia.
In accordance with the regulation governing the EUSF, it is for the national authorities to submit an
application to the Commission for assistance from the Fund. Article 4 sets out the information required
and establishes the deadline of 10 weeks from the initial damage for its transmission to the Commission.

(2003/C 137 E/149) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2892/02

by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(14 October 2002)

Subject: The danger of ruptures in cooling-water pipes at the High Flux Reactor in Petten, the Netherlands,
and failure to take measures to avert the danger

1. Is the Commission aware of reports in various Dutch media that the primary inlet pipes to the
cooling-water system at the High Flux Reactor in Petten, the Netherlands, for which the Commission holds

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