EC orders EU shipyards to pay back illegal subsidies
The European Commission said Thursday it will order three German, Spanish and Greek shipyards to pay back subsidies not allowed under European state aid rules.
The EC found that the Spanish shipyard Izar received 556 million euros ($701 million) of illegal aid from a state company between 2000 and 2002. “This amount has to be recovered from Izar,” the Brussels-based body said.
The EC noted that in 1997 restructuring aid to the public Spanish shipyards amounting to 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) was approved “on the condition that no further such aid could be provided.”
In a separate decision, the EC said the Greek authorities must repeal certain legal provisions that allow the state to cover future retirement costs at Hellenic shipyards, and relieve the shipyard from various taxes or duties. The EC said these measures constitute operating aid and are illegal.
“The Greek authorities have been requested to repeal both measures and to recover any aid that may have been granted,” the EC said.
In a third decision, the EC decided the German government must recover 13 million euros ($16 million) of illegal subsidies granted to the German shipyard Kvaerner Warnow Werft.
The EC continues to pursue a resolution of a dispute with Korea on shipyard subsidies through the World Trade Organization and allows the payment of subsidies worth 6 percent of the contract value of ships built in the European Union.