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Brussels, 23 March 2011

State aid: Commission approves €19.2 million training aid for Italian car producer De Tomaso SpA

The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, an Italian grant of €19.2 million to sports car producer De Tomaso SpA for a project to train its workforce in Grugliasco (Piedmont) and Guasticce (Tuscany). The Commission concluded that, on balance, the aid was compatible with EU rules because the positive effects of the project outweigh any distortions of competition brought about by the aid.

Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said: “We support training aid measures which encourage companies to invest more in the in-depth training of employees. The proposed training aid will have positive effects for the company's workforce and for the economy as a whole."

De Tomaso SpA plans to launch the production of two new luxury sport car models and one new luxury car model at its two production sites in Grugliasco (Piedmont) and Guasticce (Tuscany). The company designed a comprehensive training programme to offer in-depth general training on upholstery, welding, painting and parts assembly to 1038 workers at the two sites. A large proportion of the workers who will participate in the training are disadvantaged or disabled.

The proposed aid, totalling €19.2 million, will allow the company to offer this in-depth training to its entire workforce, and not only to the workers who need to be trained to be able to produce the new car models. The aid therefore enables the workers, to receive in-depth general training on issues that will improve their professional knowledge and increase their potential on the jobs market. Moreover, the acquisition of these skills will be certified by the regional authorities. The company itself will make a significant contribution to this extensive training programme.

The Commission has therefore concluded that the proposed aid measure is compatible with Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU that allows aid to develop certain economic activities.

The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.31390 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

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