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Funding from globalisation fund for Portugal & Malta approved by MEPs
11
Apr '08
The European Parliament adopted a report approving the release of aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGAF) for Portugal and Malta. The aim is to help 1,549 Portuguese car industry workers and 675 Maltese textile industry workers to retrain. The report was adopted with 555 votes in favour, 40 against and 35 abstentions.

Portugal and Malta applied last year for aid from the EGAF, which was set up in 2006 to counter the adverse effects of globalisation. In December the European Commission approved these two applications on the technical level but the budgetary authority (Parliament and Council) still had to decide whether the use of the fund was justified and whether the total requested sum of €3 106 882 should be released.

Retraining of Maltese textile workers:
MEPs welcome the application by Malta for €681 207 to fund an assistance plan for textile workers who had lost their jobs following the unexpected closure of two companies, VF Ltd. and Bortex Clothing. The total cost of the plan to reintegrate the redundant workers on the labour market is put at €1.3 million by the Maltese authorities.

This is the first time EGAF money has been used for one of the countries that joined the EU since 2004. It is also the first time that a special clause in the regulation governing the fund, relating to smaller markets, has been used. The 675 redundancies account for 0.4% of the working population of this country of 402 000 inhabitants.

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