The European Commission decided on Friday to cease a 5.3 million euro payment for direct agricultural payment that were due between October 2008 and March 2008, EC Commissioner on Agriculture spokesperson Michael Mann declared for The measure was taken because Romanian authorities delayed the payment of subsidies for 2007. Thus, the amount will have to be covered by the state.

The decision follows another two of this sort: the Romanian agency in charge with direct agricultural payments (APIA) was officially announced that the Commission will not pay some 8.6 million euro representing penalties for July 2008 - October 2008 payments.

APIA director Daniel Constantin declared that there are several reasons behind these decisions among which the malfunctioning of the IT system, or that this was the first year when payments were made. He underlined that the agency had 1.1 million requests.

To avoid penalties, EU member states need to pay farmers by June 30. If amounts due after this date exceed 4% of the total sum of subventions, a gradual penalty is applied, for each month past the deadline.