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Visit of representatives of trade unions on behalf of Polish shipyard workers, to Neelie Kroes, and demonstration of Polish workers

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Neelie Kroes, Member of the EC in charge of Competition, met representatives of the trade unions on behalf of workers of the shipyards in Gdynia, Gdansk and Szczecin (Poland) at the Commission's Brussels headquarters. During the meeting, she underlined that, under EC State aid rules, the restructuring plans due to be presented by the Polish authorities for the shipyards must ensure the long-term profitability of the shipyards, include adequate compensatory measures to limit the distortion of competition caused by the aid and be financed to a large extent from the companies' own resources. Neelie Kroes made clear that unless the plans to be presented by the Polish authorities comply in full with the above requirements, she would have no option but to propose to the Commission to adopt negative decisions concerning the aid granted to the yards and to require the repayment of the State aid received. The Commission has been examining State aids for the shipyards at Gdynia, Szszecin and Gdansk since 2004 and opened its formal investigation on 1 June 2005. Since 2004 the Polish authorities have not submitted viable restructuring plans. After the meeting, Polish trade union workers demonstrated outside the European Commission building demanding officials to move away from threats to force the closure of the shipyards. Around 100 people took part in the protest and blocked the entrance to the building for nearly one hour.
SHOTLIST MEMO

Type: EbS   Reference: 57790   Date: 25/06/2008   Duration: 00:02:28
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