ECONOMY

EU Commission opens inquiry into Greek support for Hellenic Defense Systems

The European Commission opened an in-depth inquiry on Wednesday to determine if Greece’s support for Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) was within EU rules on state aid.

The Commission said in a statement it would assess a state grant of 10 million euros, a capital increase of 158 million euros and several loan guarantees of up to 942 million euros, which were given between 2004 and 2011.

EAS is almost entirely owned by the Greek state, though Piraeus Bank has 0.18 percent and a further 0.02 percent is held by private investors.

The Commission said that EAS, which is in the Greek privatisation programme, has been in economic difficulties since at least 2004 and the measures granted by the state appeared to involve state aid.

[Reuters]