Latvia, Estonia to pay sweet EU fine

  • 2006-11-08
  • From wire reports
RIGA - The Latvian government on Nov. 6 said that it would pay the EU 1.1 million euros for excess sugar stocks accumulated ahead of Latvia's accession to the EU. In order to settle the sugar fines, the same amount will be paid to the EU for the next three years.

The Agriculture Ministry reported that the European Commission estimated Latvia's excess sugar stocks at 10,589 tons and then set the fine at 4.4 million euros.
The Commission said the fines for excess sugar stocks should be paid off within four years, from 2006 to 2009, paying 25 percent of the total fine annually. For this reason, Latvia will also have to pay the EU budget 1.1 million euros in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Estonia also was included in the sweet fines laid out by the EC. Estonia has to pay 45.7 million euros in fines for excess sugar stocks. Latvia and Estonia were not alone, Cyprus also was slapped with a 20 million euro fine.
The Commission ruled against the new member states' excessive food stocks upon EU accession. The EC was concerned that the extra sugar was intentionally built up in order to sell it at a higher price after the countries entered the EU.