The European Commission has opened an
investigation to examine whether Spanish plans to grant public
financing to the Ford group are in line with EU state aid rules, the
commission said Wednesday.
The investigation deals with a grant of 25.2 million euros (33 million dollars) announced in 2012 for the production of a new model of the Ford Transit Connect compact van in Valencia.
The eastern region's high unemployment and low share of gross domestic product could make the project eligible for state aid.
However, a preliminary investigation revealed that the project might exceed the authorized 5-per-cent increase in production capacity on a market in decline, the commission said.
Valencian Economy Minister Maximo Buch said he was "certain" that the subsidies had been granted "correctly."
"We are convinced and trust that this will not go further and will not have any further consequences," he said.
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