More than a hundred million euros of mispent or missused farm subsidies are being claimed back by Brussels. Several countries are in the firing line – Spain has been told to pay back more than 30 million euros, mainly regarding its fruit and vegetable subsidies.
Greece and Italy are to hand over tens of millions of euros for shortcomings in checks on their tobacco industries. Greece is also being charged 38.55 million euros for insufficient controls on livestock premiums. France has to return more than 30 million euros – almost half relates to the wine sector where subsidies were paid out according to the size of the whole vineyard rather than just the land actually with vines on it. The crack down comes at a time when the common agricultural policy is under the spotlight. The commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development says it is vitally important to ensure the CAP budget is properly spent.