Commission not looking for Irish funds on latest list

Launching their pre-Budget submission in Dublin, IFA's General Secretary Pat Smith, Chief Economist Rowena Dwyer, President Eddie Downey, and Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle.

Ireland is not in the latest list of 15 member states from which the European Commission will recover funds, following the most recent clearance of accounts procedure.

Currently, Ireland is fighting a threat of recovery of €181m due to single farm payments for ineligible land from 2008 to 2012.

Last week, the commission claimed back €57 million of CAP money unduly spent in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the UK. The most significant individual correction is €20.04m charged to France for weaknesses related to allocation of single payment entitlements.

Meanwhile, the commission shows signs of losing patience with Italy over nearly €1.4 billion in outstanding milk superlevy fines dating back as far as 1995.

The Italian government has been told to recover levies still owed by milk producers from 1995 to 2009, with the Commission threatening to impose EU sanctions if they are not paid. More than half of the total amount of superlevy fines imposed on milk producers who exceeded their production quotas in that period has still not been recovered.

The commission has now effectively given Italy a final warning.

A three-year row between the EU and Greece over agri-funding has now come to a head with the EU’s Court of Justice confirming the withdrawal from Greece of more than €250 million because of recurrent non-compliances in the olive oil and arable crop sectors.In 2007, inspectors from the commission carried out two investigations in Greece, which revealed deficiencies in the checks carried out by national authorities.

The commission found deficiencies in the geographical information system and on-the-spot checks for olive cultivation and arable crops.


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