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Serbian steel mill Zelezara to not reimburse state aid - EU Commission

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbian steel mill Zelezara to not reimburse state aid - EU Commission Smederevo Steel Works. Author: Zelezara Smederevo. License: All rights reserved

BELGRADE (Serbia), November 10 (SeeNews) - Serbian steel mill Zelezara Smederevo will not have to repay any state aid received from the Serbian government in the past, the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Serbia  said.

The EU commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, has informed Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabic that Zelezara Smederevo, owned by China's Hesteel, will not have to reimburse any state aid, the Delegation said in a statement earlier this week. 

The EC was required to conduct an analysis based on the Serbia’s obligations under the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement, which commits Belgrade to respecting the EU state aid regime, in particular for companies in restructuring, the Delegation said.

In a separate statement issued on Thursday, the Serbian economy ministry said the decision will encourage more companies to invest in the country.

Hesteel officially took over the management and ownership of Zelezara Smederevo in July 2016. In April 2016, Serbia's government agreed to sell the steel mill to Hesteel, after the Chinese investor submitted a binding offer to buy all 98 property units of Zelezara Smederevo for a total of 46 million euro.

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