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   On  a propoal from Mr Bruce Millan, the Member responsible  for  regional
   policies, the Commission has adopted a programme for the employment  area
   of  Albi-Carmaux  in  the  Midi-Pyrenees  within  the  framework  of  the
   Community  initiative  for the conversion of  coal-mining  areas  (RECHAR
   programme).
   The  RECHAR programme covers the whole coalfield, which has a  population
   of  175.000,  but most projects will be concentrated on  the  coal-mining
   area of Carmaux.
   Up  to  the  end of 1993, the European  Regional  Development  Fund  will
   provide almost 3 million ECU (20 million FF) and the European Social Fund
   O,14 million ECU (935.000 FF), to which 13 million ECU (87 million FF) of
   public and private national financing will be added.
   The interventions of the structural Funds are directed towards  improving
   the  attractivity of the region and strengthening the competitiveness  of
   businesses. There will be six schemes in all:
     -       rehabilitation  of  industrial  waste land  and  conversion  of
             commercially used land;
     -       construction  and  conversion  of  industrial  and  craft-trade
             buildings and of premises for high-quality business services;
     -       urban renewal with economic, social and cultural impact;
     -       assistance towards the modernization of businesses;
     -       training  of  engineers  and  managerial  staff  by  continuing
             education;
     -       training  of  job  applicants and SME  personnel  to  meet  the
             requirements of employment in the metal-working sector.
   Commenting  on the decision, Mr Millan said that after the  North-Pas  de
   Calais  coalfield, Carmaux was the second coal-mining area in  France  to
   benefit  from  the RECHAR programme. He was pleased  with  the  excellent
   cooperation  between all the parties involved, which made it possible  to
   launch concrete measures to help the region so rapidly.
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