EU Commission investigates Greece over old subsidies

Brussels – Greece once again risks being taken to the European Court for a case of subsidies which the European Commission suspects are illegal. «The European Commission has decided to open investigations into aid granted in Greece since 1993 to indebted agricultural, industrial and craft enterprises in the prefectures of Kastoria and Evia. The aid has totaled 47 million euros in interest rate subsidies and 7 million in loan guarantees,» the Commission announced yesterday. It is not the subsidies themselves that irritate the Commission but the apparent absence of a restructuring plan. Such a plan had been demanded for ailing airline Olympic Airways. In that case, however, the Commission had accused the Greek State, the owner of Olympic, of failing to follow the plan. Greece has one month to respond to the Commission’s allegations. The Commission will then «speedily» decide whether the subsidies must be returned.