EC to approve the sale of Romania's Automobile Craiova plant after rows over allegedly state-aid

Publish date: 16-02-2008
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The European Commission will give Romania green light for the sell-off of car maker Automobile Craiova, after concerns the state may have granted illegal aid, the president of the Authority for State Assets Recovery (AVAS), Teodor Atanasiu said.

After talking to representatives of DG Competition, the European Commission's directorate responsible for establishing competition policies for the European Union, Atanasiu said the contract will enter into force after the privatization bill passes Parliament.

Romania's Senate bid on December 12, 2007  for more time to debate over Automobile Craiova's privatization law. The Senate prolonged to 60 days the deadline hashed over the bill containing some measures taken for the sell-off.

A report from DG Competition is awaited by February 20 to be sent to the European commissioners who will give AVAS an answer by February 27.

EC decided last year to start an investigation on the possible state aid granted by government to Automobile Craiova, referring to a certain number of jobs Ford would create at the plant. The EU body issued an order asking Romania to suspend any state aid that was not notified to the authorities in Brussels.

Ford paid Romania 57 million euros for 72.4 percent of the Automobile Craiova's share capital. Officials with the U.S. car maker visited the Romanian plant yet they did not take over the company's management.


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