Greece gets 35 million euro rebate in EU farm error

Greece’s battered public finances got a minor boost from the European Union on Thursday, when the bloc’s executive said it would repay 35 million euros it wrongly fined Athens for errors in its EU farm payments.

In a statement, the European Commission said the decision followed a European court ruling in September, which partially annulled fines imposed in 2005 over irregularities in EU payments to Greek arable, livestock and fruit farmers.

Greece is currently locked in negotiations with EU and eurozone officials over the public spending cuts and labor reforms needed to secure a second financial bailout, which will total 130 billion euros.

The Commission also announced a fine of 30 million euros for Britain for inadequate enforcement of EU environmental rules for farmers, known as cross-compliance. The Netherlands was handed a similar fine of 15 million euros.