Donder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 23 Posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 984 times:
The Associated Press
3/10/02 12:05 PM
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- European Union Transport Commissioner Loyola de Palacio is proposing new regulations that would let the EU levy duties and restrict landing rights for foreign airlines judged to receive unfair government subsidies, EU officials said Sunday.
De Palacio is scheduled to present the proposals to the European Commission Tuesday. If adopted by the EU executive body, the plan will be submitted for approval by governments of the 15-nation bloc and the European Parliament, a process likely to take several months.
The proposals followed complaints by European airlines about the $15 billion aid package granted to U.S. airlines by the American government after the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the Swiss government's help in creating a new national airline after Swissair's failure.
However, EU officials denied the proposals were directed against any particular country or airline.
"We have a legal void to fill," said Pia Ahrenkilde, spokeswoman at the EU Commission. "We have to make sure there is fair competition in the market."
Ahrenkilde said the EU already has antidumping measures covering maritime transport and imports of goods, but no legislation for air transport.
She also denied the timing of the proposal was linked to the trade dispute between the EU and the United States sparked by Washington's decision last Tuesday to impose punitive tariffs of up to 30 percent on steel imports.
In recent years the EU has cracked down on government aid to national airlines within the bloc. Faced with tight EU controls on government bailouts, Belgium's Sabena airline collapsed late last year and several other national flag carriers are struggling.
Denied state help themselves, EU airlines are increasingly critical of government support to their competitors.
Gerardo From Spain, joined May 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 33 Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 952 times:
It was rather expected after the financial supports of US airlines after Sep. 11 and those of Swiss. Regarding your choice, Staffan, I'd say, it was more a bad timing, in my opinion, as the EU is already calling WTO because of the US steel subsidies.
dominguez(dash)online(dot)ch ... Pushing the limits of my equipment
Staffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 944 times:
Gerardo, I agree, it was bad timing, but it might have been a good idea to put this on the shelf for a while until the steel tariff thing had been sorted out. It's by far too easy to link this with the ongoing events.
EE-Kay From Ireland, joined Nov 2001, 152 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 915 times:
There are small countries in Europe with small flag-carrier airline companies and which have never received grants or subsidies or financial aid (...or call them whatever you like) from their governments. Yet they have been battling it all out with the huge flag-carriers, some of which were/still are poorly run, and some of the small carriers still made profits virtually all the time throughout their quite long history.
I'd be very very happy to see AZ - for one - go bust, after the appalling and extremely awful treatment I got when I flew them for the first (and I pray to God that it was the last time) very recently.
I am happy to see that the Commission has finally shown some initiative and that it has the gutts to shackle this laissez-faire mentality that some airlines have ...with the backing of their country's government. I actually think that it was about time - they should have stopped this ages ago.
On the other hand, I hope that airlines such as OA and IB will make it and come out successfully from their current 'restructuring'.