EU promises speedy response on Polish plan

The EU has promised a swift decision on whether to approve Polish government rescue plans for two shipyards where thousands of jobs are at stake. "My people are doing their utmost to be as quick as possible," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a delegation of shipyard workers. "The most awful situation is to have that sword above your head and not know what the future may bring. Some 200 workers from the Gdynia and Szczecin shipyards held a noisy but peaceful demonstration outside the European Commission's headquarters to demand that EU regulators keep the yards afloat.

The Polish government has presented a long-term business plan to the EU outlining its concept for restructuring the shipyards along with initial agreements with prospective investors. The EU warned that, without a tenable plan to make the yards independently profitable, it would order the Polish government to reclaim the state aid money which could mean bankruptcy for the yards and the loss of thousands of jobs.

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