EU claws back 335 mln euros in misspent farm subsidies
BRUSSELS Dec 12 (Reuters) - The European Commission on Thursday ordered 15 EU governments to repay 335 million euros ($462 million) in misspent agricultural subsidies, citing rule breaches and inadequate financial controls.
The biggest correction was handed to France, which must repay 160 million euros for its failings in allocating subsidies for environmental protection measures and fruit and vegetable production.
Greece was ordered to hand back 110 million euros, mainly for errors in the method used to allocate subsidies to its farmers, while the Netherlands was told to repay 35 million euros.
"Member states are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the common agricultural policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds," the EU's executive branch said in a statement.
($1 = 0.7251 euros) (Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; editing by Jason Neely)