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3.7.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 187 E/25

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-3653/00, E-3654/00 and E-3655/00
given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(15 February 2001)

As decided by the Court of Justice, public television broadcasting falls within the terms of the EC Treaty
and the common market principles, including the rules on competition and state aid. In particular, Article
87(1) (ex-Article 92) of the EC Treaty could apply to public radio broadcasting if all the conditions
mentioned therein are met. A State aid may nevertheless be found compatible with the EC Treaty
provisions. Furthermore, Article 86(2) (ex-Article 90) of the EC Treaty provides that a State aid can be
declared compatible when it is necessary for the realisation of a service of general economic interest.

The importance of public service broadcasting is stated in the Protocol on public service broadcasting,
introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam. The Commission has to take into account this interpretative
Protocol. According to the Protocol it is the competence of Member States to define the public service and
to provide for the funding for this public service, insofar as the funding does not affect trading conditions
and competition in the Community to an extent that would be contrary to the common interest.

The Commission is not able to give a precise opinion at this stage on the specific questions of the
Honourable Member but will in due time and in the light of the above assess all implications of the
requirements of the EC Treaty for the broadcasting sector. As far as the State aid aspect is concernend, the
Commission plans to clarify its position in this context in a communication in the course of this year.

(2001/C 187 E/026) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3658/00


by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(27 November 2000)

Subject: Extension of the Athens Underground

The Greek Government has decided to extend the existing line of the Athens Underground from the
present terminal ‘Ethniki Amini’ to ‘Stavros Aghias Paraskevis’ in order to improve links with the new
airport in Athens. According to reliable sources the Government has decided, in order to save money and
speed up the project, to cancel 4 of the 5 stations originally planned on the new section of the extension
which would have served the districts Cholarghos, Aghia Paraskevi, etc.

In order to finance this extension it is planned to use the Community funds already approved for the
Underground extension to Aigaleo, a typical working-class area of Athens. A link with a run-down area of
the City is thus being sacrificed in an attempt to improve links with the airport, a line which is of very
questionable value, given that the scheduled station at Stavros is located many kilometres from the airport.
Is the Commission aware of these significant changes and if so what view does it take of these
developments?

Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission

(15 February 2001)

The Community support framework (CSF) for Greece for the 2000-2006 programming period contains
finance from the European Regional Development Fund for extensions of the new lines 2 and 3 of the
Athens underground railway and construction of a rail link from the centre of Athens to the new Spata
airport.