EU to claim back €580m for CAP spend breaches
The European Commission is to claim back almost €580m of CAP money from 19 member states that did not comply with EU rules on spending and controls.
A total of €578.5m of EU farm money was unduly spent by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Ireland appears to have escaped lightly with just a one-off correction of €133,757 for late payments for last year.
However, Greece was the top offender on the EU Commission's list and will be forced to repay €210.9m for LPIS-GIS [land parcel identification system] issues and inadequate spot controls for 2006 area-aid spending.
Greece must also pay back €54.7m for problems with vineyard management and another €50.16m for failure to reduce aid payments for sheep farmers, deficiencies in on-the-spot checks and inadequate Less Favoured Area controls. Greece also has a bill of almost €20m for breaching tobacco rules.
Romania will be forced to repay €41.7m for weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS, administrative controls and sanctions applications, while Portugal must repay €40.69m for weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS, incorrect sanctions and deficiencies in administrative checks for area-aids expenditure.
Netherlands faces a bill of €28.94m for not having key controls over minimum price payments to producers between 2003 and 2008, while Bulgaria's bill extends beyond €20m for poor LPIS-GIS and deficiencies in on-the-spot controls in the 2006 area-aid expenditure.
Our nearest neighbours in Britain will be forced to repay almost €3.8m in a financial correction for late payments and for overshooting financial ceilings for last year.