Commission refers Greece to Court

The Commission has decided to refer Greece to the European Court of Justice because it failed to comply with a 2008 Commission decision ordering the recovery of unlawful aid to Hellenic Shipyards. This follows a 2012 ruling by the Court condemning Greece for its failure to implement the decision.

More than seven years after its adoption, Greece still has not implemented the Commission decision of June 2008, ordering the recovery of over €250 million of unlawful state aid to Hellenic Shipyards. The Commission has now requested the Court of Justice to impose on Greece a lump sum penalty of about €6 million. The Commission has also requested that the Court impose a daily penalty of €34,974 from the day of its judgment until the date Greece brings the infringement to an end. The implementation of the 2008 decision will remove the unfair advantage received by Hellenic Shipyards, in breach of EU state aid rules, and aims to restore the level playing field in the market.

In its 28 June 2012 ruling (case C-485/10) the Court confirmed that Greece had failed to implement the Commission’s 2008 decision. The Court further concluded that a letter the Commission sent to Greece on 1 December 2010 has also not been implemented. This letter accepted a number of commitments from Greece as a way to implement the Commission’s 2008 decision.