|Author (Person)||Shelley, John|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.34, 20.9.01, p14|
THE DUTCH government is expected to tell the European Commission today (20 September) that it does not intend to pay back €200 million of social funding which it allegedly misspent.
The Hague will admit there was a problem with the allocation of money earmarked for creating new jobs, but is likely to argue that the Commission's estimate of the amount that should be repaid is much too high.
Odile Quintin, the employment and social affairs director-general, caused a stir when she wrote to the Dutch government in July requesting more information on how social fund cash had been spent between 1994 and 1996, and suggesting that €200 million should be paid back to the Commission.
Although there are no accusations of fraud, the Union executive says the government agency which managed the financial aid failed to keep the proper paperwork. The request for 200 million euro to be repaid is one of the largest in the history of the social fund. "When the Dutch authorities and the Commission check that projects are clean they need to be able to see proof of payment," said Andrew Fielding, spokesman for employment chief Anna Diamantopoulou. "In this case, at least in part, proofs of payment are missing."
A probe launched by the Dutch government following the Commission's letter cleared those involved but said the job creation projects paid for from the social fund in the mid-1990s were executed carelessly.
However, the Hague is likely to suggest it pay back less than half of the amount the Commission has proposed. The EU executive will make a final decision on the sum owed in October.
The Dutch government is expected to tell the European Commission on 20 September 2001 that it does not intend to pay back €200 million of social funding which it allegedly misspent.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Netherlands|