Notices for publication in the OJ nº T-379/09 of Court of First Instance of the European Communities, November 21, 2009

Resolution Date:November 21, 2009
Issuing Organization:Court of First Instance of the European Communities
Decision Number:T-379/09
 
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Action brought on 24 September 2009 - Italy v Commission

(Case T-379/09)

Language of the case: Italian

Parties

Applicant: Italian Republic (represented by: F. Arena, avvocato dello Stato)

Defendant: Commission of the European Communities

Form of order sought

Annul Commission Decision C (2009) 5497 of 13 July 2009 concerning State aid schemes No C 6/2004 (ex NN 70/01) and C 5/2005 (ex NN 71/04) implemented by Italy in favour of greenhouse growers (exemption from excise duties on gas oil used to heat greenhouses);

order the Commission of the European Communities to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The Italian Government challenges before the Court of First Instance of the European Communities Commission Decision C (2009) 5497 of 13 July 2009 concerning State aid schemes No C 6/2004 (ex NN 70/01) and C 5/2005 (ex NN 71/04) implemented by Italy in favour of greenhouse growers (exemption from excise duties on gas oil used to heat greenhouses).

The applicant relies on five pleas in law in support of its action.

By its first plea, the applicant submits that the contested decision infringes Article 87(1) EC in so far as the legal provisions in question, which are regarded as constituting State aid incompatible with the common market, are not selective, on account of the fact that it is possible for any operator in the agricultural sector to benefit from the reduced rate of excise duty on gas oil used for heating greenhouses, and also the fact that there are fundamental differences between cultivation in greenhouses and cultivation in the open air, for which there are no production costs in respect of gas oil for heating purposes.

By the second plea, the applicant alleges infringement of Article 87(1) EC on the additional ground that the legal provisions in question do not in any way distort competition. In support of its position, the applicant refers to the Community Guidelines for State aid in the agriculture and forestry sector 2007 to 2013, paragraph 167 of which expressly states that total or partial...

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