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The European Commission has approved two applications from Spain for assistance from the EU Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
The total of € 3 482 316 requested by the Spanish authorities will help 350 redundant workers from textile industry and 300 workers formerly cutting, shaping and finishing stone for construction to find new jobs.
The Commission will now make proposals to the European Parliament and the Council to mobilise the budgetary resources.
The Spanish application relates to 544 redundancies in 143 enterprises operating in the textiles sector. Since the end of the World Trade Organisation Multi-Fibre Arrangement at the end of 2004, imports of textile and clothing articles into the EU from lower-cost countries have been increasing exponentially and EU producers, including those in Spain, are faced with a highly competitive market.
At local level these redundancies represent, in the five municipalities most affected, 35.13 % of the unemployment increase in the manufacturing sector during the period April 2009-January 2010.
The package of EGF assistance for the former workers of the textile industry will help 350 of the most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them various options of training, promotion of entrepreneurship and accompaniment towards business creation, intensive job-search assistance and allowances and incentives.
The total estimated cost of the package is almost €3.2 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of €2 059 466.
The Spanish application relates to 528 redundancies in 66 enterprises operating in cutting, shaping and finishing of stone for construction. The demand for finished natural stone products (flooring, facing of buildings, etc) is closely linked to demand in the construction sector, which is influenced by the number of new-builds and demand for renovations and upgrading.
The package of EGF assistance for the workers made redundant in cutting, shaping and finishing of stone will help the 300 most disadvantaged back into employment by offering them information, screening and occupational guidance, training and retraining, promotion of entrepreneurship and training in business management, a monitor on equal opportunities, and incentives.
The total estimated cost of the package is almost €2,2 million, of which the European Union has been asked to provide EGF assistance of €1 422 850.