Return our money, European Commission tells Austria

Vienna, April 11 (IANS) The European Commission wants Austria to pay back 64.2 million euros in funding due to errors made in measuring its agricultural area for the years 2006-08, a media report said.

But the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management said it expected the final amount of money to be paid back to be “much lower”, Xinhua reported.

The ministry also stressed that Austria still ranked number one amongst all European Union member states in its efficient handling of funding, and had the lowest amount of funds recovered of all the 27 EU member nations.

The governor of the state of Salzburg, Gabrielle Burgstaller, meanwhile, said there was no suggestion of deception, and that the European Commission document relating to the issue in no way mentioned “responsibility or even cheating intentions from farmers”.

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