I was on a work visit to Naples and astonished at the amount of car horn honking at traffic lights pretty much everywhere. Its not like the lights are sound controlled. Found out why a few years later talking to an Italian I was working with in Kuwait. There was an EU grant for traffic lights, lots of free wonga over and above the cost of putting lights in. Naples went crazy for it so some streets had them every hundred metres or so, even when they very plainly had no function. The locals know which are the 'real' lights and which are cash generators only, hence the horn tooting if you dare stop at a useless traffic light.Subsidy fraud happens everywhere in the EU. Bridges that stand there without road access, roads that lead nowhere.
OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud organisation, is not very helpful, as the Dalli-Gate and Eurostat affairs prove. So this is not a typical British problem and the EU regulations do not necessarily make things any better.