Brussels, 12 May (STA) - The European Commission announced on Wednesday it had launched an investigation into possible breach of EU state aid rules by Slovenia in relation to EUR 20m in capital injections to two subsidiaries of the state-owned Elan group.
The Commission wishes to examine the view of Slovenian authorities that injections into ski producer Elan and yacht builder Elan Marine did not constitute state aid.
"At this stage, the Commission has doubts as to the qualification of the measures, but will examine whether a private investor would have accepted to carry out these capital injections under the same conditions," the press release by the Commission reads.
Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia explained that the Commission needed to "ascertain that Elan has not received an unfair economic advantage over its competitors through the capital injection it received".
Elan and Elan Marine received capital injections totalling around EUR 20m in 2007 and 2008. The injections, coming at a difficult time for both companies, originated from several state-owned companies.
The measures were not reported to the Commission, which received a complaint from a competitor, alleging prohibited state aid.