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EU fines Valencia 6 million euros for bad management of agriculture funding

Staff writer |
The Valencian Government will be imposed a six million Euro fine by the European Commission because of bad management of funding to fruit and vegetable programmes since 2007, as well as specific support for beekeeping in 2011.

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As reported by the Government in a statement, the penalty has been imposed within the framework of the initiative from Brussels to make Spain responsible for what they call "financial corrections," which involve, among other things, the exclusion "from EC funding of certain expenditure items" between 2007 and 2011 in the management of funds for agricultural support.

For the Councillor of Agriculture, Elena Cebrián, the EU decision, communicated to the Council by the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund (FEGA), is "a drag on the construction of a new Council" which integrates competencies that so far remained separate, and that now they'll have to deal with the "results of previous mismanagement."

Cebrián met last week with the Councillor of Finance and Productive Model, Vicent Soler, to address certain "problems encountered" in the management of European aid and of the public company Vaersa.

According to Soler, the "systematic deficiency" in the control and processing of agricultural and European subsidies in recent years has resulted in a fine of six million Euro to the Government, which "must be prepared for future amendments."

The Council has estimated the fine at 6,266,370 Euro for expenditure corresponding to the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (FEAGA), of which the majority (4,785,000) has to do with "deficiencies in key management aspects," as reported by FEGA in its statement to the Treasury.

The "poor control" which Brussels is referring to responds, according to the Councillor of Agriculture, to "bad management" and "lack of personnel to carry out the required inspection tasks to control the handling of aid and European agricultural subsidies."

According to Elena Cebrián, the problems identified by Brussels are related to the operational programmes for fruit and vegetables, and for citrus processing in particular.

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