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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 242 E/107

instead of user charges or tolls on interurban roads are Ireland, Finland and the United Kingdom. In urban
areas, London introduced a congestion charging scheme in February 2003. Similar systems are already in
place in some Norwegian cities and are being planned or tested in other European cities.

Concerning urban transport, according to Article 9 of Directive 1999/62/EC, nothing prevents Member
States from imposing other charges as parking fees, urban traffic charges and congestion charges.
Consequently, the urban charges in question seem to be in conformity with this Directive.

As indicated in the White Paper ‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ (2) the Commission
plans to present a Community framework providing for a new structure of infrastructure use charging.
This was also requested by the European Council of March 2003 (point 54 of Conclusions).

The Commission has at its disposal positive cost-benefit analysis for the underground projects of
extensions of the Athens Metro. These extensions are currently under construction or under design and are
co-financed by the Community Support Framework 2000-2006 for Greece.

On the basis of information provided by the Greek Authorities to the Commission, the failure of the soil
which occurred in the works of one extension of the Athens Metro, in January 2003, is due to the non-
respect of construction rules and steps provided by the design of the project, by the contractor. The
contractor will assume the full cost of all the measures which are taken to restore the consequences of this
failure and to ensure the follow up of works in safety.

The Greek Authorities responsible for the construction of the Athens Metro must have proceeded to all the
necessary studies, including soil investigations and soil protection measures, for the tendering and
contracting of the projects of the Athens Metro. The Commission has no evidence that this is not the case.

(1) OJ L 187, 20.7.1999.

(2) COM(2001) 370 final.

(2003/C 242 E/108) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0202/03

by Maurizio Turco (NI) to the Commission

(3 February 2003)

Subject: Investigation by OLAF and the Bari Public Prosecutor’s Office into the use by the Puglia Regional
Council of funds earmarked for professional training

The answer to Question P-0656/01 (1) indicates, with regard to the use by the Puglia Regional Council of
funds earmarked for professional training, that:

 OLAF opened an investigation on 28 July 2000;

 the Commission has given its authorisation for one of its officials, an expert in European Social Fund
financial procedures, to be interviewed by the Bari Public Prosecutor’s Office.

1. Has OLAF interviewed the lawyer Giuseppe Di Donna, former member of the Puglia Regional
Executive with responsibility for professional training?

2. Has the OLAF investigation been completed? If so, what were its findings?

3. Has the judicial investigation by the Bari Public Prosecutor’s Office been completed? If so, what were
its findings?

(1) OJ C 235 E, 21.8.2001, p. 234.

C 242 E/108 Official Journal of the European Union EN 9.10.2003

Answer given by Ms Schreyer on behalf of the Commission

(17 March 2003)

In its reply to Question P-0656/01, the Commission indicated that the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
launched an investigation on 28 July 2000 which is still under way. OLAF is continuing to provide
assistance to the Bari Public Prosecutor’s Office in this connection.

The Commission would draw attention to OLAF’s statement that under Regulation (EC) No 1073/99 (1) it
cannot pass on information relating to the investigation, including the names of the people who may have
been or may be interviewed.

It suggests that the Honourable Member contact the Bari Public Prosecutor’s Office about the judicial
investigation which it is conducting.

However, it would point out to the Honourable Member that it has initiated a procedure to suspend the
Community contribution to projects which have had assets seized by the Italian magistrature.

This procedure, which has already been completed, should result in a few days’ time in the adoption of a
decision to suspend the contribution from the European Social Fund (ESF) to the 1994-1999 Puglia
operational programme (OP), which totals EUR 12 996 932, pending the outcome of the judicial

(1) Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by
the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)  OJ L 136, 31.5.1999.

(2003/C 242 E/109) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0212/03

by Christine De Veyrac (PPE-DE)
and Hugues Martin (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(3 February 2003)

Subject: Prestige disaster and European civil protection

Have the Member States affected by the oil slick resulting from the Prestige accident made use of the
European mechanism for coordinating civil protection assistance interventions?

Can the Commission give details of the aid mobilised to date, the time needed for this and the States that
have provided aid?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission

(19 March 2003)

Member States affected by the oil slick from the Prestige requested assistance via the EU Response Centre
for civil protection (1) that was activated on the day of the accident (13 November 2002).

The EU Response Centre, following the request of the Spanish, the Portuguese and the French authorities,
launched eight different requests for assistance of specialised vessels, aircraft, equipment and experts to
deal with the response to the pollution. The first request was launched on 14 November 2002, the last on
9 January 2003. Following the accident, an impressive quantity of resources, including 15 oil-combating
vessels, more than 20 kilometres (kms) of booms and a number of specialised surveillance aircraft, were
put at the disposal of the competent national authorities.

The Response Centre of the Commission, in co-ordination with the Spanish authorities, also acquired
satellite images of the area in the framework of the Charter ‘Space & Major Disasters’.