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EU: EC orders nation to recover state aid

 |  July 25, 2016

The European Commission has ordered Spain to recover the illegal state aid that it granted to a state-owned railway operator for the construction of a high speed train testing center.

Following an investigation which opened in March of last year, the EC concluded Spanish plans to finance the project to the tune of €358.6 million breach state aid rules. The investigation also uncovered that Spain had already paid funds to the rail operator, without disclosing these to the commission.

Spain notified the commission of its plans to grant the public funding to railway operator Administrador de Infraestructura Ferroviaria in 2013.

ADIF would build and then own the testing centre, which would contain a railway circuit where trains can run at very high speeds (up to 520 kilometres per hour), with additional installations for the testing, approval and tuning of mobile rail equipment, infrastructure and superstructure elements.

The commission’s investigation ultimately found that Spain had in actually already paid out €140.7 million to ADIF since 2011, before the commission’s decision, which was in violation of state aid rules.

Full Content: Public Finance International

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