European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said
he would back government aid for European shipyards if the EU lodges a formal complaint against South Korean shipbuilders with the World Trade Organization
. Government subvention "is an instrument we want to use," he said.
"We have to increase our weapons arsenal. Such a (WTO) process can be very drawn out," said Lamy.
The EU has long accused Seoul of paying its shipbuilders illegal subsidies that threaten the existence of European yards. Lamy said the Council of Ministers will ultimately decide whether to help shipbuilders, but added the Commission was likely to support some form of temporary assistance because talks with his Korean counterparts had made little progress. Lamy will offer his recommendation to the Commission on Tuesday and a formal decision on WTO proceedings are expected next week after consulting with national governments. - (Reuters)