The prime minister of the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania asked the European Commission
to ease capacity limits imposed on eastern German shipyards as a condition for receiving state aid grants. State premier Harald Ringstorff told EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti
an increase would prevent the yards' improved productivity leading to further job losses.
"Any such proposal will be looked at with the utmost care and attention, also in the light of the report concerning the situation of shipbuilding which the Commission will present ... in May," the statement quoted Monti as saying. Shipyards in the former East Germany have received massive cash injections since German unification to keep them afloat. One of the conditions set by the EU's executive Commission was limits on capacity. The final decision on any increase would probably be a matter for EU industry ministers.