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EU Insists on Restructuring for Poland's Gdansk Shipyard


The European Union has insisted that Poland restructure the historic Gdansk shipyard, site of protests that led to the formation of the Solidarity labor union.

EU officials said Tuesday that the Gdansk shipyard must streamline its operations or repay hefty state subsidies, to come into line with rules allowing subsidies only for businesses working toward long-term sustainability.

Trade unions object to proposed changes at the shipyard, saying they will eliminate hundreds of jobs.

The Gdansk shipyard is the location where labor leader Lech Walesa led a strike that led to government recognition for the Solidarity labor union, a major development in the eventual collapse of European communism.

About 100 Polish workers demonstrated outside EU headquarters in Brussels last week to protest plans to restructure the shipyard. It was the 27th anniversary of the ratification of the agreement that led to Solidarity's creation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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