Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/18 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/17 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/14 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Europe

European court slams France for failure to recover 'illegal' subsidies

media The European Court of Justice ruled that subsidies to SNCM hurt competition with other shipping companies Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

The European Court of Justice condemned France Thursday for not having recovered 220 million euros in “illegal” state aid paid to a shipping company which runs ferries between Marseille and Corsica.

SNCM received the aid during its privatisation in 2006, and got European Commission approval for it at the time. But the European court later ruled that the subsidies hurt competition with other shipping companies, and ordered in May 2013 that the repayment be made within four months   a decision which France and SNCM fought to have annulled.

France argued that the subsidy was needed to avoid the loss of 1,500 jobs, serious disturbances of public order, a blockage at the port of Marseille or a disruption in the supply of necessities to Corsica.

But the court rejected the arguments, saying that Corsica could be supplied by vessels from other companies or by air. No further appeal is possible.

“The Court considers that it was not absolutely impossible for France to recover the aid,” it said in a statement released Thursday. “As regards the argument relating to social unrest, the Court holds that France has failed to establish that, if the situation arose, it could not cope with such unrest with the resources available to it.”

The European Commission could impose fines on France if it does not execute the order.

“The Court upholds the Commission’s action for failure to fulfil obligations,” it said. “France had not taken the measures necessary to recover the illegal aid.”

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.