THE EUROPEAN Commission has called for the closure of EU coalmines that perform poorly economically, where they have been lavished with state aid paid with the view to them being restructured and turned around.

In its latest report on state aid to the mining industry, (for the year 2000), Brussels adopts an aggressively negative tone about aid paid by national governments to the coal industry, which it claims "is in crisis, despite several years of state aid."

It adds: "The competitive imbalance has not been compensated; on the ...

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