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C 137 E/152 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


Does the Commission not consider that the granting of such aid to Alitalia breaks the competition rules
and causes severe damage to private airlines?

What does the Commission think of the possibility of other Italian companies taking over a certain
number of services from Alitalia on a completely private basis?

Does the Commission not believe that this could provide an excellent solution, as in addition to complying
with free market principles it would avoid the spending of public funds on pointless attempts to rescue

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(15 November 2002)

On 19 June 2002 the Commission approved two financial measures concerning Alitalia. Firstly, it declared
the payment of the third tranche of EUR 129 million of the restructuring aid approved in 1997 to be
compatible with the EC Treaty. Secondly, it decided that the increase in capital, totalling EUR 1,4 billion at
most and which is to be submitted to the company’s shareholders, does not constitute State aid.

With specific regard to the increase in capital, notified on 29 April 2002, to which the Honourable
Member refers, the Commission finds that the State’s participation accords fully with the market economy
investor criterion. The operation involves both private and public shareholders, and the private sector is
making a significant contribution (38 %). Indeed, the Italian State has undertaken not to take part in the
recapitalisation without the 38 % guaranteed by non-shareholding banks. The Commission’s favourable
decision regarding Alitalia is thus based on a detailed examination of the Italian airline’s situation and does
not compromise Commission policy on State aid for the restructuring of airlines, which is based on the
‘one time last time’ principle.

As to the Honourable Member’s second point, regarding the possibility of other Italian companies coming
forward to take over a number of services from Alitalia, the Commission can only welcome increased
competition in the air transport market.

(2003/C 137 E/173) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3064/02

by Torben Lund (PSE) to the Commission

(22 October 2002)

Subject: Fatalities in connection with the slimming aid Letigen: questionable approval procedure

The Danish consumer magazine T+T discloses in its issue No 28, October 2002 how the slimming aid
Letigen may have caused numerous deaths, and that the Danish Medicines Agency approved the product
on highly questionable evidence. Slimming aids whose content of stimulants of the central nervous system
is similar to Letigen are prohibited in the rest of the EU, and investigations from the USA clearly show that
slimming aids with the same structure and composition as Letigen can have serious side effects.

I would therefore ask the Commission to comment immediately on the basis for the Danish Medicines
Agency’s approval of Letigen. Will the Commission state why products with the same content can be
simultaneously permitted in some countries and prohibited in others? We must assume that a Dane and a
Swede, for example, are both equally sensitive to a dangerous product like Letigen. Because Letigen is
prohibited in Sweden, many Swedes have bought the product in Denmark  the problem cannot therefore
be regarded as a national matter. What measures does the Commission propose to take against the Danish
Medicines Agency in the interests of public health both in Denmark and the rest of the EU?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/153

Answer given by Mr Liikanen on behalf of the Commission

(12 November 2002)

Letigen is a medicinal product which contains 20 miligram (mg) ephedrine and 200 mg coffein.

No divergent decision have been taken by national authorities for Letigen because a marketing
authorisation was only requested by an applicant in Denmark.

The competent authority for granting a marketing authorisation for a medicinal product in Sweden
(the Medicinal Product Agency (MPA)) has not received an application of a marketing authorisation
concerning Letigen. Therefore, the MPA has never rejected a marketing authorisation for Letigen.

The competent authority from Denmark (Danish Medicines Agency) granted a marketing authorisation to
Letigen in 1990.

The Commission will bring the Honourable Member’s concerns to the attention of the Danish Medicines
Agency to comment on the safety of Letigen in the treatment of ‘Obesity with a significant medicinal risk’.

(2003/C 137 E/174) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3071/02

by Roberta Angelilli (UEN) to the Commission

(25 October 2002)

Subject: Special Commissioner for Traffic for the city of Rome

Rome City Council has asked the Italian Government whether it can appoint the Mayor of Rome, Walter
Veltroni, to the post of Special Traffic Commissioner. This appointment would equip Mr Veltroni with
special discretionary powers to grant derogations from the legislation in force. He would, for example,
be able to arbitrarily decide whether or not environmental impact assessments should be carried out on
the construction of underground car parks or other public works. This would encroach on the regional
government’s authority, as recognised by the Italian State and the European Union and, above all, would
be liable to deprive citizens of the only regulatory instrument they have for preventing serious damage to
the environment and the liveability of the city.

Could the Commission therefore:

1. indicate whether it is possible for mayors to bypass EIA procedures at their discretion, even if they
have been delegated special powers;

2. state whether this constitutes a potential infringement of the directives governing this area;

3. give its assessment of this situation.

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(18 November 2002)

The issue of the share-out of the responsability to apply the provisions of Council Directive 85/337/EEC of
27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (1)
whether before or after amendment by Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997 (2) among the
different authorities of a Member States is not a matter of Community law.

However, all national authorities which are responsible for applying the provisions of the Directive in the
Member States are obliged to comply with it.

(1) OJ L 175, 5.7.1985.

(2) OJ L 73, 14.3.1997.