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Head of competition watchdog: Talks with EC underway over state aid to Oltenia Energy Complex, Tarom
avion Tarom

Talks are underway between the Romanian authorities and the European Commission regarding the grant of state aid to the Oltenia Energy Complex - affected by the increase in the price of greenhouse gas emission certificates - and to air company Tarom, president of the Competition Council, Bogdan Chiritoiu, said on Tuesday.

"Tarom had a reserve of roughly half a billion dollars but in ten years, during which it systematically lost 40-50 million dollars each year, the reserve has run dry and the company is now crying out for help. Our argument before the European Commission is that this is the first time since our acquiring EU membership, that Tarom receives state aid. State aid can be granted only once in ten years, and our argument to the European Commission is that since we joined the Union, this is the first time that Tarom would get state aid," said the head of the competition watchdog.

In Chiritoiu's opinion, state aid does not guarantee a company's future, but measures must be taken to make sure that once it has left the restructuring program, it will operate correctly in the market.

"This is no guarantee for the future, but we must take measures to increase the likelihood that, once they leave the restructuring program, these companies will function, will be viable, will properly work in the market. We have a success story - Oltchim - which, after years of restructuring, was sold to a Romanian operator and is currently operational, paying its liabilities to the state and apparently working well under market conditions," Bogdan Chiritoiu emphasized.

The president of the Competition Council participated on Tuesday in the 10th edition of the PRIA Competition conference.


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