The European Commission will decide on November 27 whether to activate the safeguard clause cutting aid for Romanian farmers, Romanian European commissioner Leonard Orban has said. According to Orban, the EC decision will be based solely on factual data from Romania.

Romanian authorities are expected to send a report to the EC on November 9, after which the Commission will analyze the data until the end of the month.

The EC threatened to activate the safeguard clause earlier in October as it found considerable problems with the agricultural payment system in Romania.

Romanian Agriculture minister Dac ian Ciolos said that the testing of the troubling electronic system for direct agricultural payment were to be concluded on Tuesday afternoon. All problems should be solved by October 31, he said.

According to Orban, the moment the system works and direct payments for farmers can start, these will be made only for checked plots of agricultural land that are already seen as fine by now. These means thaty the payments would not be made all at once, but during a period of three to four months, Orban said, starting with March or April 2008 for the 2007 payments.