Naples - The €44 million subsidy granted by the Italian state to the Port Authority of Naples to restore the dry docks rented to Cantieri del Mediterraneo is illegal state aid. The late collection of concession fees by the Port Authority, on the other hand, does not constitute State aid, as it has put in place requirements such as a market operator. These are the conclusions reached by the EU Antitrust Authority in analysing two complaints on which it adopted two separate decisions. The EU investigation into the €44 million that the State granted to the Port of Naples began in June 2016.
The subsidies were used to restore the dry docks rented by the Naples port authority to the shipbuilding and repair company Cantieri del Mediterraneo (CAMED) on the basis of a 30-year concession.
Public interventions in favour of companies do not constitute State aid if they are carried out under conditions which a private investor operating under market conditions would have accepted.But in the opinion of the Commission, the direct subsidies from the Italian State gave both the Port Authority of Naples and CAMED an undue economic advantage over their competitors and therefore constitute State aid.