THE EUROPEAN Commission has authorised the Spanish government to pay out industry-wide state aid totalling Euro 425 million covering expenses incurred by the country's coal industry from July 24 to December 31, 2002, and additional aid of Euro 11.2 million for 2001 and 2002 until July 23. This money must be spent on operating aid (Euro 116.3 million), cutting costs (Euro 127.7 million), and Euro192.2 million to cover exceptional expenditure. The Commission last year authorised aid of Euro 633.2 million for the first six months of last year.

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