The European Commission has made payments to Greece and Ireland from the European Globalisation adjustment Fund (EGF).
A total amount of €39.6 million will help 6,629 dismissed workers back into employment. This follows their redundancy in a number of sectors including construction industry and retail sector. €2.9 million will help 642 former Greek ALDI Hellas workers back into employment.
The dismissals were a consequence of the global economic crisis. The decline in the volume of retail sales during the recession followed a similar pattern as that of other economic activities, falling for seven successive quarters from the peak recorded in the first quarter of 2008. ALDI Hellas, a newcomer to Greece, was unable to achieve the necessary economies of scale in these circumstances; it decided to halt all activities in Greece and close down all its outlets and logistical centres in the country.
€35.7 million will help 5 987 dismissed Irish workers back into employment, following their redundancy due to crisis in three separate sectors of the construction industry (construction of buildings; specialised construction activities; and architectural and engineering activities, technical testing and analysis).
The credit crunch severely affected the banks in Ireland, with further effects on mortgage loans and building activity in the country. There followed a substantial decrease in demand for new houses and house renovation, mainly due to the decrease in private investment in the residential sector.
The Irish redundancies covered by the three applications occurred throughout the whole Ireland, in a total of over 3 200 enterprises. Among the 5 987 targeted workers are 4 470 redundant apprentices who will be helped to complete their apprenticeships so as to gain recognised qualifications.
These payments follow approval of the amounts by the Budgetary Authority - the European Parliament and the Council - on 16 November 2011.