EU takes Greece to court over state aid to shipyard
The European Commission yesterday took Greece to court for failing to recover more than 250 million euros in what it considered to be illegal state aid to Hellenic Shipyards. The case dates back to 2008 and deals with one of Greece’s biggest shipbuilding yards that is now owned by Abu Dhabi MAR, the Emirates-based shipbuilding group. “More than seven years after its adoption, Greece still has not implemented the Commission decision of June 2008, ordering the recovery of over 250 million euros of unlawful state aid to Hellenic Shipyards,” the Commission said in a statement. It also asked the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest court, to impose on Greece a one-off penalty of about 6 million euros, plus a daily penalty of 34,974 euros from the day of its judgement in 2012 until the date Greece complies. In 2008, Brussels found that some loans, guarantees and capital injections granted to the shipyard between 1996 and 2002 when it was in dire straits failed to meet EU state aid rules. The shipyard was privatized in 2002 and became part of German steel group ThyssenKrupp, which sold it to Abu Dhabi MAR in 2010 at the worst of the Greek debt crisis.
Hilton bidders. The process of selling the building of the Athens Hilton hotel by owner Alpha Bank will continue with at least two suitors, who yesterday submitted offers to Citi, the sale’s consultant. The next stage provides for an assessment of the offers, which are not binding.