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Persistent Fish Fraud to Cost France $80 Million

(CN) - France must pay a fine of almost $80 million after the General Court of the European Union ruled Wednesday that the French government persistently sold undersized fish, notably hake fish.

France asked the court to annul a 2005 judgment from the EU Court of Justice, which ordered the country to pay fines for its failure to comply with fishery conservation laws between 1984 and 1987.

The high court had concluded that France failed to comply with a 1991 decision it issued about the same conduct, as alleged by the European Commission.

On Wednesday, the General Court rejected France's application to annul the previous findings or reduce the fine. France must pay the full amount of the 57.7 million euros, around $80 million. The court's decision is available only in French.

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