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EU: state aid for airports OK if temporary

July 3, 2013

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The European Commission says states should be allowed to support airports and new airline routes with taxpayer money — if the aid is temporary in nature.

The commissioner for competition, Joaquin Almunia, outlined the guiding principles to reporters in Brussels Wednesday. First, he said, state aid must address a clear transport need, such as making an area more accessible. Second, an airport or new airline route must be able to become economically viable in a relatively short period of time.

Under current rules, airports are not allowed to receive operating support from governments.

The new rules, if adopted, will go into effect in 2014.

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