EU demands Italy repay Elton John concert costs

The European Union has ordered Italy to repay almost $1 million in EU funds used to stage an Elton John concert.

The European Commission says Italy had no right to use EU funds for the 2009 concert in the city of Naples.

EU spokesman Ton van Lierop said Friday that EU money can be used to promote culture but that doesn't mean staging a one-off rock concert. "We have asked for our money back," he added.

Italy used euro720,000 ($983,000) in EU money for John's performance fee. The concert was broadcast live on state TV and drew 100,000 spectators, including 6,000 tourists.