27 March 1998
EC presses Italy and Spain over quota fines
ITALY and Spain could end up in the European Court for their failure to collect fines from farmers producing more milk than their quota permits.
The European Commission is dissatisfied with their response to infringement letters sent at the beginning of the year. It is now issuing reasoned opinions against them. This is the second stage of legal proceedings which could result in the court action.
Farmers in Italy blame the Government for their over-production. They say the authorities have been vague about how much each farm should produce. They protested recently about the Governments apparent decision to make them pay fines.
The commission said its main concern was to recoup a “superlevy” imposed on farmers producing over their quota. It added that the superlevy paid by Spanish producers was less than 1% of the amounts due for 1995-97.
- Financial Times 27/03/98 page 2