A MINIMUM level of state aid payments to the European Union coal industry would survive until 2010, and probably beyond, under a new subsidy regime proposed by the European Commission that would recognise the need of the EU to maintain its own indigenous energy production.

Statements from European energy commissioner Loyola de Palacio since the oil price rise of last year have focused how to prevent the EU from becoming over-dependent on foreign energy supplies, and these concerns are reflected in its proposals for a new state aid ...

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