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25. 5.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 158/155

The current operation to remove the asbestos is unavoidable, whatever the future of the Berlaymont −
restructuring or demolition and rebuilding. Demolition is in any event impossible before removal of the asbestos.
The only work currently in hand is the removal of asbestos. Restructuring work will start on completion of this
phase of work and after a final decontamination certificate has been issued.

The main effect of delays in the work is that asbestos removal will probably not be completed before mid-1999,
and the renovation before the end of 2001. Since the agreement with the Belgian State provides that all the costs
of asbestos removal are to be borne by the Belgian State, which is also to provide replacement premises for at
least six months after delivery of the renovated Berlaymont, there will be no impact on the Commission budget.

The Berlaymont Task Force was set up within the Commission to monitor the renovation project after removal of
the asbestos, and to cooperate on the definition of the project with the SA Berlaymont 2000 team. The
Commission undertaking to finance the restructuring of the Berlaymont − estimated at ECU 325 million plus
ECU 50 million (value of the building before renovation) − and to become the owner on completion of the work
is still subject to delivery of a decontamination certificate.

(98/C 158/206) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3580/97


by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(13 November 1997)

Subject: Wetlands of Nea Fokaia in Khalkidiki

The community of Nea Fokaia in Khalkidiki comprises two important coastal wetlands which are surrounded by
woodland. Much of this region has already been built on with licences issued by the state, and pressure has been
mounting since 1961 to develop the land.

These two wetlands have been registered as such by a number of bodies (the Ministry of Agriculture in 1988, the
National Centre for Biotopes and Wetlands/ the Goulandris Museum of Natural History in 1994, the Kassandra
Forestry Authority in 1996 and 1997 and the Environmental Department of the Prefecture of Khalkidiki in 1997).

However, on 4 April 1995, the Government decided to cede 181.1 hectares of one of the two wetlands to the
Greek Tourist Board for the construction of a golf course, basing its decision on the fact that the Greek Tourist
Board has characterized the region as a dried-up marsh.

The local authorities have called for the wetlands to be preserved, but at the same time to be promoted for
tourism; they have also demanded a stop to the illegal seizure of land and violations of national and Community
legislation which bring Greece into disrepute internationally.

Will the Commission say whether it is aware of the above allegations and whether it intends to call on the Greek
authorities to explain this state of affairs?

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission


(12 December 1997)

The Commission is already aware of the facts referred to by the Honourable Member. An initial investigation has
revealed that at the moment the site in question is not designated as a special protection area under
Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds (1), nor has it been proposed by Greece as a site of
Community importance for the Natura 2000 network under Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural
habitats and of wild fauna and flora (2).
C 158/156 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 25. 5. 98

However, information does exist which points to the ecological value of the site (scientific inventories, a recent
review of important areas for the conservation of birds). Furthermore, a coastal area proposed by Greece as a site
of Community importance is located in the immediate vicinity.

The Commission will be contacting the Greek authorities for further information regarding nature conservation
at the site in question. If appropriate, it will take action under the procedure provided for in Article 169 of the EC
Treaty.

(1) OJ L 103, 25.4.1979.


(2) OJ L 206, 22.7.1992.

(98/C 158/207) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3581/97


by José Apolinário (PSE) to the Commission
(13 November 1997)

Subject: Periodic Annual Report on the implementation of Article 10 of the ERDF Regulation

In response to my Question E-0850/97 (1) the Commission announced that a report on the implementation of
Article 10 of the ERDF would be published by the end of the summer. Has it been published yet?

If not, when is it due to be published?

(1) OJ C 373, 9.12.1997, p. 32.

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission


(22 December 1997)

The Commission published in June 1997 an Inforegio on the mid-term assessment of operations under Article 10
of the European regional development fund regulation (1). A copy is forwarded directly to the Honourable
Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat.

Detailed information on innovative actions under Article 10 in 1996 is presented in the 8th annual report on the
implementation of the structural funds (2), which was recently published and forwarded to the Parliament.

(1) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.


(2) COM(97) 526 final.

(98/C 158/208) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3583/97


by Alfonso Novo Belenguer (ARE) to the Commission
(6 November 1997)

Subject: Cut in subsidies to olive oil production

The European Union Committee on Oils and Fats recently submitted a draft text in which it proposes that aid to
olive oil production be reduced by 34%.

The proposed aid scheme for the oil sector provides for payments to be effected at the end of the season, so that
whereas the original estimates in Spain, and in the Community of Valencia in particular, set the level of aid at
235 pesetas per kilo of oil, it will be as low as 148 pesetas per kilo taking into account the cut in aid proposed by
the Committee on Oils and Fats, a cut which poses a serious threat to the income of oil producers.

In view of the fact that the cut in aid would affect the 1996/97 season and taking account of the loss of revenue
this entails,
1. Can the Commission say on what criteria the Committee on Oils and Fats based its decision to propose a
34% cut in aid to olive oil production?