The case analyses an illegal financing with European funds, concluding that the imposition of a full repayment by the defendant is excessive, given that the irregularities identified are associated with only a relatively small part of the business for which the financing was obtained.
The judgment reflects the rigorous application of the principle of proportionality, even in situations where the issue of recovery of budgetary claims arises.
In the case, the defendant was found guilty of unlawful acts which led to the obtaining of funds in excess of those to which he was entitled, generating damage limited to the additional amount granted as a result of irregularities. The Court emphasised the importance of applying the principle of proportionality also in the context of the resolution of the civil side of the case, stating that compensation for damage must be pro rata to the damage actually caused.
The court held that the withdrawal of financial support cannot operate in its entirety, as this would be equivalent to ordering the defendant to repay an amount which does not fully reflect the damage caused by the unlawful act. Therefore, even in the case of the recovery of a budgetary debt, due account must be given to the proportionality of the advantages for which irregularities have been found.