Gdansk Faces Closure

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Gdansk shipyard will have to be scaled back or face possible closure as Brussels turns the screw on illegal state aid to the Polish shipbuilding sector. Neelie Kroes, the European Union competition commissioner, has given the Polish authorities one month to reduce capacity at the yard or face having to repay the state aid. Ms Kroes on Friday accepted capacity cuts at Poland's Gdynia and Szczecin yards in return for past state aid but said no satisfactory solution had been proposed for Gdansk.

The three shipyards have together received 1.8bn in subsidies since Poland joined the European Union in 2004. In Ms Kroes's eyes, that gives the yards an unfair advantage over European competitors. The Commission is pushing for Gdansk to reduce its capacity and to cut its three slipways to one. The yard wants to keep two slips, which with efficiency imp¬rove¬ments would allow it to increase capacity over today's level. Source: Financial Times

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