Poland is pleading with the European Union for more time to sell three
shipyards, warning that the EU is threatening to bankrupt the yards and
throw thousands out of work.
Polish Treasury Minister Aleksander
Grad said Thursday Poland needs until the end of September to work out
a proper restructuring plan and sell the yards to private investors.
officials have said they may force Poland to stop government subsidies
of the shipyards as early as next week. The three yards wold have to
refund more than $1 billion in state aid to the Polish government.
The EU says the subsidies violate EU rules.
Poland says forcing the yards to give back the money would bankrupt them and cost thousands of jobs.
three Baltic Sea shipyards are in Gdansk, Gdynia, and Szczecin. Gdansk
was the birthplace of the Solidarity labor movement, which led to the
eventual collapse of Polish communism in the 1980's.
led a shipyard workers strike in Gdansk in 1981. The strike spread to
other industries across Poland and forced authorities to recognize
Solidarity as the first fully authorized labor union in a
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.