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EU Approves State Aid for Historic Polish Shipyard


European Union regulators have approved more than $250 million in Polish government subsidies to the historic Gdansk shipyard, ensuring the future of the birthplace of the anti-communist Solidarity trade union.

An EU statement Wednesday said it reached agreement on the approval after the Polish government offered a plan to slash capacity at the facility.

The shipyard had been threatened with closure during a lengthy EU probe into whether government capital injections, tax write-offs, loans, and other concessions were damaging to competition within the 27-member union.

The docks on the Baltic coast rose to international prominence in the early 1980s, when they became the birthplace of Solidarity - the first officially recognized independent trade union in a communist country. The movement later helped end communist rule in Poland.

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

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