Written Answers. - Duty Free Sales.

Ruairí Quinn


49 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the steps, if any, he has taken since the ECOFIN meeting of 19 May 1998 to advance the cause of the Irish duty free industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15033/98]

My colleague the Minister for Finance raised this matter at the ECOFIN meeting on 19 May. While he did not manage to convince all of his ECOFIN colleagues or the EU Commission to change from their long-standing opposition to carrying out a study of the effects of ending intra-Community duty free sales from 30 June 1999, he did manage to get support from a considerable number of member states. These included France and Germany, for the first time at ECOF1N, and this was a very welcome development.

The Government will continue to work to advance the cause of the Irish duty free industry by seeking to influence ECOFIN and the Commission and my colleague, the Minister for Finance, will now consider the best approach to follow in the light of the outturn of the last ECOFIN discussion on the subject.