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Greece embarrassed in front of the European Union- can’t explain about €500mil

19 August 2009 / 14:08:16  GRReporter
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August 17 was the deadline for Greece to explain about the €500mil granted to agricultural workers. Greek Ministry of Agriculture was supposed to send a report that proves that the money granted was used as compensation and not assistance.  The ministry delayed the report and the agriculture Euro-commissioner Marian Fisher Boel sent a letter announcing that Athens didn't observe the deadline.

Greek Minister of agriculture Sotiris Hadzigakis made an instant announcement, saying that "as always, Greek authorities will provide the information and clarifications requested by the European commission within the deadlines in order to show that the €425mil package was granted to agriculture workers according to national and European legislation."

According to the government the clarifications requested in the letter are technicalities and are a "usual practice" of the European Commission. The letter demands from Greece to send the complete information that proves the financial package of 2008 provided to the agricultural workers was used for compensations. The Greek Ministry insists that they have sent the papers but they got delayed due to the summer pace of work.

European administration is upset that Athens continues to give information as if with a "dropping tube"; what the euro-commissioner has in mind are the reports send by the Greek government on March 22 and June 16. After EC members conducted a detailed examination of the reports, however, they concluded that it is not clear if the money were used for compensations. This is the reason for all other supportive documents to be demanded by August 17.

Despite the delay, the commission announced unofficially that they will wait some more time, hoping to receive what they want. "Irresponsibility has already gone beyond all bounds, embarrassing our country not only in front of the European Commission but in front of our partners," noted the Agricultural Minister Hadzigakis. In his announcement he made it clear that the €75mil difference occurred because the package announced in the beginning of the year included compensations that have already been paid, in order to cease protests of agricultural workers.  

Tags: stock news European Commission agriculture Sotiris Hatzigakis
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