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European Commission approves Spain’s €2.13bn aid to facilitate closure of 26 coal mines

Published 30 May 2016

The European Commission (EC) has approved Spain’s plans to grant €2.13bn to shut down 26 uncompetitive coal mines in the country.

Spain's aid is expected to reduce the social and environmental impact of the mine closures without distorting the competition in the single market.

Last April, the country had announced that there would be state aid to the operators of 26 coal mines, which are expected to be closed until 2018.

According to EC, the aid aims to ease the closure process by covering production losses of the mines until closure.

The aid will also offer financial support to the workers, who will lose their jobs as a result of closures.

In addition, the aid will finance the safety and remediation works necessary after the mine closures.

The EC agreed that the plans are in line with its state aid rules, which enables member states to cover production losses and certain exceptional costs arising from the closure of uncompetitive coal mines.

The Spanish authorities have also agreed to recover any aid from mines that, have not been closed by that date.