The EU Court of Auditors has criticised Greece for 'systematic' cheating. Athens was criticised for overpaying farmers by €866m (£747m) over several years, including submitting false claims for pasture land subsidies when aerial photographs 'clearly show a significant density of trees and rocks.'
Although aerial photo checks on CAP claims became mandatory in 2009, the system in Greece was not still not fully operational in December 2009. Spot checks revealed that money had been paid out for land with 'different locations, different uses, different shape and perimeter' from thosee claimed by Greek farmers.
The auditors found that 'In Greece the bulk of administrative cross checks ... is carried out under a procedure that leaves no audit trail.' They found that Greece systematically calculated single farm payments incorectly.
Specific sums to be recovered from Greece include:
•€ 210.9 million charged to Greece for poor LPIS-GIS and deficiencies in on-the spot controls in respect of claim year 2006 for area-aids expenditure, including area-based rural development measures;
•€ 54.7 million charged to Greece with regard to dried grapes for reductions in the minimum yield, plot specialisation, ineffective vineyard register and weaknesses in scheme management and control for the financial years 2003-2007;
•€ 50.16 million charged to Greece for failure to reduce aid payments for non respect of veterinary requirements regarding the maintenance of sheep registers, for deficiencies in on-the-spot and administrative checks and for absence of specific risk criteria for Less Favoured Area additional premium controls;