IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL

National

AFFECTED FLOW

Inflow

ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARY

No

NON-TRADE-RELATED RATIONALE

No

ELIGIBLE FIRMS

all

JUMBO

No

TARIFF PEAK

No
← back to the state act
Inception date: 22 Dec 2008 | Removal date: 21 Apr 2014
Still in force

Capital injection and equity stakes (including bailouts)

Larco is a company specialized in the extraction and processing of ferronickel products and is one of the top 5 sellers worldwide (par. 5, letter from the EC to Greece, Brussels 6 March 2013). More than 55 per cent of the shares are owned by the Greek state. Between 2008 and 2012, Greece supported the firm as follows(par. 11 - 16):

  • On 22 December 2008, Greece provided a guarantee for a loan of EUR 30 million.
  • In 2009, the Greek participated in a capital increase and injected EUR 45 million.
  • On 26 May 2010, the state provided another guarantee over EUR 10.8 million.
  • In 2010, the Greek tax authorities reduced the pre-pay of EUR 47 million to EUR 1.5 million.
  • On 30 December 2011, the state provided another loan guarantee of EUR 50 million.

 
The EC argues that "the measures in question have an effect on trade and distort competition" (par. 62). Furthermore the EC identifies potential affected trading partners by arguing that "Larco is active in a sector whose products are traded among Member States and is itself exporting most of its production to other Member States. In addition, there is nickel mining, smelting and refining in 6 Member States apart from Greece, i.e. in Austria, Finland, France (New Caledonia), Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. As regards the trade of nickel, it is traded in almost all Member States".
 
Update August 4, 2014: Commission forces Larco to repay state aid
On 27 March 2014, the European Commission decided that the state aid received by Larco was incompatible with EU state aid rules and forced the company to pay back with interest the state-funded means. Further, the EC allowed Larco to sell some of its assets in an ongoing privatisation process.
 

A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.

AFFECTED COUNTRIES

MAP
TABLE
EXPORT

AFFECTED SECTORS AND PRODUCTS

414 Copper, nickel, aluminium, alumina, lead, zinc & tin, unwrought
7502 Unwrought nickel.
750210 Nickel, not alloyed

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