EU agrees deal with Greece to recover Hellenic aid

first_imgThe European Commission this week accepted proposals from Greek authorities on how to recover illegal state aid offered to shipbuilder Hellenic Shipyards.The European Union regulator in 2008 asked Greece to recover state aid amounting to 539 million euros ($702 million) given to the shipbuilder, which is partly owned by Germany’s ThyssenKrupp.The EU’s executive said in a statement the commitments offered by Greece to recover the aid will address competition concerns in Greece’s market for civil shipbuilding and ship repair.The shipbuilder currently constructs military ships and Greece was concerned that the recovery might endanger those activities which it considers essential for its national interest. Instead Greece proposed to stop the various guarantees granted to HSY and that HSY repays part of the aid through the sale of its non-naval assets. It also proposed to compensate the absence of full recovery through a 15-year ban on the civilian activities of HSY. On 2 July 2008, the Commission found subsidies granted by Greece to Hellenic Shipyards S.A. (HSY) incompatible with the European market because Greece did not respect the conditions attached to the restructuring and closure aid approved by the Commission in its prior decisions of 1997 and 2002. Moreover, various loans and guarantees provided by the Greek State and the then State-owned bank ETVA to Hellenic Shipyards were also found to constitute additional incompatible aid as they were provided either below the market price or at a time when the financial situation of HSY had become so difficult that it could not raise financing on the market.As a result, Greece was asked to recover 539 million euro including interests from HSY΄s civil activities and Greece and HSY were ordered to renounce various guarantees. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more