EU probes Hungary for possible breach of state aid rules

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission has launched an investigation to determine whether Hungary violated EU competition rules by allowing more than 20 million euros ($22 million) in subsidies to a Budapest-based ground handling company.

The Commission said Tuesday it wants to find out whether financing measures "totaling approximately 21 million euros" granted by various Hungarian state-owned entities to Malév Ground Handling were in line with EU rules for struggling companies.

Malév Ground Handling is a former subsidiary of Hungary's national airline, Malév, which went bankrupt in 2012. The commission says Malév Ground Handling has been struggling financially.

The commission's investigation stemmed from a 2017 complaint launched by a competitor that argues the subsidies received by Malév Ground Handling amounted to state aid and was against EU rules.

In another case also related to EU State aid rules, the commission said it is investigating a plan by the Spanish region of Valencia to allow nine million euros ($10 million) of public support to regional airline Air Nostrum for the renewal of its fleet.

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