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Author Topic: Finmeccanica's Alenia, Agusta, Aermacchi, and Avio, must pay back millions  (Read 4105 times)

Offline tigershark

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I hope the new Aermacchi advance trainer can survive this?

 International Herald Tribune
EU tells Finmeccanica, Avio and Piaggio to pay millions in interest on state loans

The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BRUSSELS, Belgium: The European Commission on Tuesday ordered Finmeccanica, Avio, Piaggio and others to hand over millions in interest they should have paid on loans the Italian government gave them interest-free.

EU regulators say 17 Italian research projects to develop helicopters, airframes and engines broke EU subsidy rules because they never paid interest on more than €450 million (US$692 million) in long-term loans the government gave them at a 0 percent rate.

Italy had accepted that some €170 million (US$261 million) in loans outstanding on 10 projects would be fully reimbursed within two months, it said, along with more than €100 million (US$154 million) in interest.

This mostly affects Finmeccanica's Alenia, Agusta and Aermacchi as well as engine makers Avio, it said.

The EU executive did not say how much each company had to pay back.

Finmeccanica said in a statement later Tuesday that it had always cooperated with Italian and EU authorities on the matter and that it had already set aside the funds needed to make the repayment.

Six other projects were cleared but must be fully paid back by 2010 in most cases, with the latest getting a payment deadline of 2018. One other project has already been paid back.

They did say they were still investigating funding paid to Agusta to develop two helicopters to check whether the payments ultimately funded a commercial project instead of a military program where subsidy rules are less strict.

Italy granted the research money under a €3 billion (US$4.6 billion) program it launched in 1985 to promote aeronautics research but failed to obey EU conditions that it check if those 17 projects met EU standards. The EU started investigating the funding in 2003.



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