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Commission Decision of 5 July 2005 on State aid C 20/04 (ex NN 25/04) in favour of Huta Częstochowa SA (notified under document number C(2005) 1962) (Only the Polish version is authentic) (Text with EEA relevance) (2006/937/EC)

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Article 1

1.The measures which Poland has implemented for the restructuring of Huta Częstochowa S.A. on the basis of the restructuring decision of 7 August 2003 as amended on 1 December 2003 and 30 April 2004 do not constitute aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty.

2.The measures which Poland has implemented for the operation of Huta Stali Częstochowa Sp z o.o. do not constitute aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty.

Article 2

The state aid which Poland awarded for R&D amounting to PLN 5 461 620 for Huta Częstochowa S.A. and PLN 1 328 000 for Huta Stali Częstochowa Sp z o.o. is compatible with the common market.

Article 3

1.The state aid which Poland awarded to Huta Częstochowa S.A. between 1997 and May 2002 as operating aid and aid for employment restructuring amounting to PLN 19 699 452 is incompatible with the common market.

2.Poland shall take all necessary measures to recover from Huta Częstochowa S.A., Regionalny Fundusz Gospodarczy, Majątek Hutniczy Sp. z o.o. and Operator Sp. z o.o. the aid referred to in paragraph 1 and unlawfully made available to Huta Częstochowa S.A. All these companies shall be jointly and severally liable.

Recovery shall be effected without delay and in accordance with the procedures of national law provided that they allow the immediate and effective enforcement of the decision. The sums to be recovered shall bear interest from the date on which they were made available to Huta Częstochowa S.A. until their actual recovery. The interest shall be calculated in conformity with the provisions laid down in Chapter V of Commission Regulation (EC) No 794/2004.

3.Within two months of receiving notification of this Decision, Poland shall inform the Commission of the measures already taken and planned to comply with it. It shall provide this information using the questionnaire attached to Annex 1 of this Decision. In particular, Poland shall provide the Commission, within that deadline, with any documents which can prove that the recovery process has been initiated vis-à-vis the entities responsible for reimbursing the unlawful aid.

Article 4

The Commission approves the proposed change in the Polish National Restructuring Plan under point 10 of Protocol No 8 to the Accession Treaty in so far as it will permit the restructuring of Huta Częstochowa S.A. without state aid and without increasing capacity.

Article 5

This Decision is addressed to the Republic of Poland.

Done at Brussels, 5 July 2005.

For the Commission

Neelie Kroes

Member of the Commission

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