(Corrects to make clear Austria will be the second country, not
the first, to be fined for misrepresenting data)
BRUSSELS Feb 22 The European Commission
proposed on Wednesday fining Austria 29.8 million euros ($31.3
million) for misrepresenting data provided by its region of
Salzburg in 2008-2012 in what would be the second such financial
penalty for an EU member.
The Commission has had the power to verify data submitted to
the European Union's statistics office Eurostat since 2011 and
can fine countries which misreport figures.
In 2015, the Commission recommended fining Spain 18.93
million euros for manipulating statistics in the Autonomous
Community of Valencia.
"The Commission has... adopted a proposal for a Council
implementing decision today for Austria to pay a fine of 29.8
million euros for the misrepresentation of some government debt
data," the Commission said in a statement.
"Following an investigation and exchanges with the Austrian
authorities, the Commission has found that serious negligence of
government entities of Land Salzburg led to the
misrepresentation in the statistical notifications of 2012 and
2013 of Austria's deficit and debt data for 2008-2012 to
Eurostat," it said.
($1 = 0.9519 euros)
(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)