The Court of Justice of the European Union has accused the Greek authorities of failing to recover “unlawful” state aid paid to farmers twelve years ago.
“The Commission takes the view that Greece has not taken all the measures necessary to comply with its decision within the prescribed periods and has not sufficiently informed it of the measures taken pursuant to that decision: it has therefore decided to bring an action for failure to fulfill obligations before the Court”, the European Court of Justice said on Wednesday.
In its Wednesday judgement, the court upheld the EU Commission’s action, finding that Greece has not taken all the necessary measures to recover the “unlawful state aid” from the beneficiaries.
The court specified that the Greek authorities have failed to keep the Commission informed of any progress in measures contributing to the full recovery of the aid. Greece could now face financial penalties.
In 2009, the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organisation (ELGA) paid Greek farmers around $515 million in compensation for damage that occurred one year earlier, as a result of adverse weather conditions. In 2011, the compensation was classified as unlawful state aid and the European Commission ordered the Greek authorities to recover the funds from the farmers. Greece has unsuccessfully tried to appeal the decision.