EU court rules Greece must recover 310 mln euros in aid from Skaramangas shipyards

An EU court has ruled that Greece’s decision to grant aid to the Skaramangas shipyards after 1992 was in breach of the community’s guidelines on free market competition.

In a judgement delivered on Thursday, the European Court of Justice confirmed a 2006 decision by the European Commission according to which Greece was required to recover 310 million euros in state aid to the shipyards that was incompatible with the common market.

Greece has claimed that the shipyards are key to the viability of its military and that a stoppage of the civil activity of the shipyards would endanger the continuation of military production.

In its ruling Thursday, the Luxembourg-based Court said that EU member states are allowed “to take measures that are necessary for the protection of the essential interests of their security which are connected with the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material.”

“The recognition of that protection must not, however, adversely affect competition in relation to products which are not intended for specifically military purposes,” it said.

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