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Polish shipyards on European tenterhooks

brussels bureau

Polish shipyards on European tenterhooks


Poland’s rescue plan for its historic shipyards now awaits European approval. It has reached Brussels by the European Commission’s deadline.

Large job losses are feared in Poland. More than 2.3 billion euros in illegal state aid is in play. A spokesman in Brussels highlighted the challenges ahead:

“When the Commission decided that the previous plan was unsatisfactory, we stated clearly that the revised plans would have to lead to the long term viability of the shipyards without further injections of public money in the future.”

If Brussels discards Warsaw’s latest blueprint, state-owned Gdynia and Szczecin and the privatised Gdansk yard will have to repay the aid.

The cradle of the Solidarity trade union that helped rid Poland of communism has not turned a profit on a ship built since at least 2004, and would not have
survived without subsidies.

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