According to an announcement by the European Court, issued on Wednesday, agricultural subsidies of 387.4 million euros granted to Greek farmers in 2008 and 2009 have been judged as incompatible with the rules of the EU’s internal market and therefore must be recovered by the Greek state.
The ruling of the European Court is final. The case was opened in January 2009, when the European Commission was informed about the compensations which were to be paid by the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organization (ELGA) after protests by large number of Greek agricultural producers who have suffered damages in 2008 due to bad weather.
On December 7, 2011 the European Commission said that compensations given before October 28, 2009 to Greek farmers may distort competition providing them with a selective advantage compared to other European producers. On February 8 2012, the Greek state filed an appeal before the European General Court to annul the Commission’s decision ordering Greece to return farming subsidies. On September 19, 2012 the President of the General Court accepted Greece’s appeal.
However, the latest decision of the General Court of the EU rejected all the arguments presented by the Greek state and the appeal in its entirety, and validated the decision of the European Commission.