The Balearics could lose out on millions of pounds worth of European Union aid if Brussels decides to penalise the region over the irregularities discovered in paperwork and documentation submitted by the organisers, in some cases the unions, of training schemes which have been financed with European Union funding. It is being claimed that companies and unions “enhanced” bills in order to justify funds received. A full investigation is currently under way and if Brussels decides to throw the book at the Balearics, the region could be stripped of all European Union aid for a number of years. The Balearic government yesterday admitted that it is seriously concerned about the possibility of Brussels taking a tough stance if it is confirmed that certain organisations have fraudulantly obtained money from the European Union. A rigorous audit has been launched to discover the full extent of the problem and to trace where all of the 10'000 million pesetas distributed by the government between 1995 and 1998 to training courses under the European Union Social Fund programme has been spent. Balearic Presidential Secretary, Antoni Garcias, said yesterday that the government is taking the situation very seriously and will leave no stone un-turned.

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