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EU hits Greece with big bill for mispent farm funds

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(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission ordered Greece Friday to repay almost 260 million euros ($375 million) in misused farm payments.

The European Union executive hit Athens with a bill for 137.33 million euros for "ineligible expenditure and major shortcomings" in an olive cultivation programme and weak "on-the-spot controls."

Another 122.38 million euros was reclaimed for wrongly-attributed land use, Brussels said in a statement.

Athens was the worst offender among 10 EU states rapped over their use of Common Agriculural Policy (CAP) payments, with 530 million euros of "unduly spent" agricultural funds being recalled.

The other states having to repay funds were Britain, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Romania.

A "small reimbursement," on the other hand, was being made to Germany, the commission said.

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