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  The Commission has decided to approve the 17th General Plan for
  joint Federal/Länder regional aid in Germany and to approve two
  special regional development programmes designed to provide
  alternative employment in certain coal mining and steel regions.
  The 17th General Plan runs for a four-year period up to
  31 December 1991 and has a budget for 1988 of 3.5 bn DM (around
  1.6 bn ECU) to be paid in the form of direct grants, interest
  subsidies, guarantees, etc. In terms of the areas to be aided,
  intensity levels, etc., it is similar to the 16th Plan approved
  by the Commission in December 1987. As part of an agreement
  reached last year between Mr Sutherland, EC Competition
  Commissioner, and Mr Bangemann, Federal Economics Minister, the
  coverage of regional aid in Germany is due to be further reduced
  by 1990. Therefore, the Commission has reserved its right to
  review the authorisation of regional aid in any area after this
  period in the light of a review to be undertaken with the German
  authorities.
  The Commission has decided to approve a special four-year
  programme for the Aachen/Jülich region, with a budget of 200m DM.
  Although unemployment levels in the area are currently below
  those normally regarded by the Commission as serious enough to
  require regional aid, the closure of the local cloalmine is
  expected to bring about important job losses (around 7 700). For
  this reason the Commission has decided to approve the proposal
  for a time-limited aid programme and to monitor it closely.
  The German authorities have also proposed another special
  programme for 12 labour market regions hit by the decline of the
  coal and steel industries. This programme will also run until the
  end of 1991 and has a budget of 1bn DM. It is proposed to include
  the previously unaided labour market regions of Wesel-Moers,
  Hamm-Beckum (part) and certain areas of Osnabrück in the
  programme. Having carried out a socio-economic analysis of these
  regions and taking account of future job losses the Commission
  has decided to approve the programme. Both special programmes
  will be subject to the general review of German regional aid
  before the end of 1990.
  For further Details:
  E. Reuter  (Spokesman  - 235.4323 / 235.1321)
E. Kaiser (Assistant - 235.2210).

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